April 22, 2014

SOFTBALL | Red Splits Doubleheader With Columbia, Celebrates Seniors

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By EMILY BERMAN

For the second straight weekend, the softball team delivered a 1-3 series outcome against an Ivy rival. Up at bat this time was Columbia, who took both games on the first day but split the Sunday set with the Red.

Cornell (15-23, 6-8) suffered another hard-fought one-run loss in the opening game of the series. The Red got on the board first against the Lions (21-19, 8-8), with junior Sophie Giaquinto blasting a home run to center for one run in the bottom of the second inning. Columbia took the lead with a powerful third inning, earning four runs off five hits. Cornell earned two runs off two hits in the bottom of the third, but the remainder of the game was scoreless and the Red finished with a 4-3 loss.

Three of the last eight Ivy contests for the Red — one in this weekend’s four games with the Lions, and two in last weekend’s four games with Penn — have now been one-run losses. With so many close games for the Red, head coach Dick Blood emphasized the variables that can affect games in unforeseen ways.

“Yes, we have had many one or two run losses. A hit here, a hit there might have turned things around,” he said. “Sometimes a line drive produces an out, and sometimes a Texas Leaguer can produce a game winner. A wide strike zone can keep two potent offenses in check. A bad hop ground ball can start a rally. You just never know. In a game with no clock, anything can happen.”

Columbia pounced on Cornell early in Saturday’s second game, snagging a two-RBI single in the first, an RBI single in the second and two runs in the third for a 6-0 lead by the time the fourth inning rolled around.

The Red struck back in the fifth with one run, and a sacrifice fly by senior Jenny Edwards and a two-run homer from sophomore Taylor Goodin in the sixth brought the score back to 6-4. The Lions added four in the top of the seventh, however, to preserve the lead and end the game with a 10-4 advantage.

“We have had difficulty in putting all phases of the game together,” Blood said. “Some days we pitch but not defend. Some days we hit but do not pitch. We have had many games this year with crooked-number errors and have been unable to manage the damage.”

TINA CHOU / FORMER SUN SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER Red senior pitcher Alyson Onyon allowed just one earned run while striking out eight on Sunday for a 6-2 win against the Lions.

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