Cornell women’s softball (9-32, 3-17 Ivy) finished its 2016 season with four straight losses to Princeton (21-25, 14-6 Ivy). The Red could not keep up with a Princeton offense that exploded for 30 runs over the four-game series. Nonetheless, the Red continued to battle, as it has all season long.
“Obviously we didn’t get the results we wanted this weekend, but we fought hard until the end,” said senior outfielder Emily Weinberg.
Cornell lost its first game on Friday, 10-1. A fifth-inning solo home run from senior infielder Taylor Goodin provided with its only run. Cornell hung stayed within Princeton’s reach until the seventh inning, when the Tigers tacked five runs onto their lead.
“Princeton is a very well-rounded team that got timely hits and kept our bats in check,” Weinberg said.
Cornell lost 4-2 in its second game on Friday. Weinberg notched a hit with two walks and a stolen base, and sophomore catcher Tori Togashi blasted a home run. The Red had several chances to capitalize with runners in scoring position but could not string together enough hits.
“We had our chances a couple of times, but didn’t come through in the clutch situations,” Weinberg said.
The team’s first game on Saturday was also close. The Red came back from an early two-run deficit to tie the game, but Princeton added two runs in the sixth to pull ahead and finish off the 4-3 victory. Senior Meg Parker had a hit and two RBIs for the Red.
The second game on Saturday was a blowout, with Princeton crushing the Red 12-2. Senior catcher Leanne Iannucci added a hit for the Red.
It was a frustrating way to end the season, but Cornell will take many positives away from the year.
“This year seeing everyone believe in one another was probably one of the best experiences I’ve had on the team,” Weinberg said. “Although we weren’t always getting the results we wanted, everyone was working 110 percent at practice knowing that next time could be different.”
This work ethic undoubtedly led to some victories for the Red after starting the season 0-10. The team could have easily packed it in and given up after the sluggish start, but the Red persevered and finished up with nine wins on the season.
“The coaching staff was supportive, and everyone was always giving it their all,” Weinberg added.
The senior class instilled this type of hard work ethic in the program throughout their four years at Cornell.
“I hope that we have left behind our love for the game and have shown the underclassmen what it means to be a member of Cornell softball,” Weinberg said.
Overall, the Red improved in all areas of the game over the course of the season. The team struggled, however, to combine consistent performances offensively and defensively. When the offense showed flashes, the pitching and defense seemed absent, and vice versa.
With the departure of several key players, Cornell will have plenty of opportunities for younger players to make their way into the lineup. Nevertheless, returning players will still have to improve in order to achieve some balance in the lineup.
“The team is getting a handful of freshman who seem like they are capable of filling in some of the holes we had this season,” Weinberg said.
The 2016 season was marked by inconsistency. However, the team never quit and was probably able to win more games than what its talent theoretically allowed for. Credit that to the seniors, who have left behind a never-quit and commitment-to-the-game attitude for the program.