In its final nonconference game of the year, Cornell softball did not let their four-game sweep at Penn’s hands keep them down, going on to beat Colgate 6-3 in Hamilton on Tuesday.
The Red (9-28, 3-13 Ivy) rode a well-rounded hitting attack and relied on the arm of sophomore Maddie Orcutt against the Raiders (8-26, 3-8 Patriot). They now face a challenging last weekend of the regular season at home against South Ivy division leader Princeton (17-25, 10-6).
For head coach Julie Farlow ’97, Tuesday’s game with the Raiders could not have come quick enough. She was ready to move on from a frustrating weekend against Penn.
“After a weekend of four losses, sometimes you just want to play and get at it,” she said.
Senior catcher Leanne Iannucci wanted to head into the final weekend of the season on a high note, and she felt that the team accomplished that with the win against Colgate.
“Our goal for sure was to take a win into the weekend,” she said.
Cornell got off to a fast start against the Raiders in the first inning. The Red gave Orcutt a three-run lead to work with, thanks to an RBI fielder’s choice by Iannucci, followed by a two-run double off the bat of sophomore first baseman Megan Murray.
“When we can get the lead, it helps our pitching, it helps our defense,” Farlow said. “It also takes away the short game.”
Cornell has struggled defensively this season with handling small-ball tactics such as bunting, so having a large lead means the other team has to swing away instead, according to Farlow.
Farlow and Iannucci were both impressed with Orcutt’s performance. She went the distance and achieved season highs with seven innings pitched and nine strikeouts, allowing one earned run. Her second straight quality outing, as Farlow mentioned.
“I thought she pitched very well,” she said. “She had to work out of a lot of jams.”
Iannucci enjoyed catching Orcutt, who said Orcutt was “getting good spin” on the ball and “hitting her spots”.
Cornell looks ahead to the last weekend of the regular season. With the Red in fourth place in the South Ivy division and eliminated from playoff contention, these four games at against the Tigers are the last ones of the season. Farlow knows that Princeton will be motivated because they have a division title to play for.
“They’re pitching the ball pretty well,” she said. “They’re pretty well rounded.”
Looking back on where the team is right now, Farlow admitted that the season has been frustrating at times.
“I think they’ve stayed positive,” she said. “I think we all know we could have a better record than we did.”
Farlow recognizes her team has the potential to play spoiler this weekend, as Princeton has not yet locked up the No. 1 seed in the South Division, yet the Red’s focus is on finishing out their season by playing good softball.
“There’s a lot of energy still on the team,” she said. “Let’s put a good mark on the season.”
Sunday’s game is also senior day, which means the last collegiate games for Iannucci, pitcher and outfielder Meg Parker, infielder Taylor Goodin and outfielder Emily Weinberg.
“I hate losing them,” Farlow said, gazing into the distance “They’re leaving the program in a great position. It’s an emotional weekend.”
Iannucci said she has enjoyed growing up with her three teammates, even through all the ups and downs.
“I am super lucky that my class is the four of us,” she said. “It’s just been a crazy four years.”