The spring brings plenty of action for softball, and the Cornell softball team dealt with it first hand as it faced a full week of play. The first challenge involved battling fellow Ivy League opponent Columbia in two double-headers this past weekend.
Cornell (9-21-1, 3-9-0 Ivy) came out on top during both of Saturday’s contests, but dropped the following two games on Sunday against the Lions (18-20, 7-5). The team describes a drop in motivation between the two days that lead to a split weekend.
“On Saturday, we came out super excited and motivated right from the start,” said freshman pitcher Lisa Nelson. “We wanted to prove ourselves to Columbia, who expected to come out on top for the weekend. But on Sunday, all that motivation seemed to be gone and we played flat.”
The action continued Wednesday in Ithaca as Cornell went to up against Colgate (10-22-1, 1-8-0 Patriot League) in another double header. The Red was ousted in the first game and was forced to settle for a 4-4 tie in the second game due to darkness preventing play, a disappointing end to non-conference play for the Red.
“Losing the lead in both games was disappointing,” said head coach Julie Farlow. “We had 13 hits in game one but left 12 runners on base. We need to score those runners and have big innings that give us a larger lead.”
Assistant coach Nicole Osovski echoed Farlow’s sentiments, but highlighted the team’s “competitiveness” during the games.
“Throughout the [first] game, we responded offensively right after Colgate would advance by one or two runs in the score,” she said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t hold them in the 7th inning to win the game. I would have liked to see how [the second game] would have played out had we not stopped due to darkness.”
After a grueling week, the team gears up for a South Division showdown with University of Pennsylvania, confident that the work that it has put in during the season will be showcased in their final games if they play at a high level.
“I expect UPenn will be a challenge, but [it’s not something] we can’t handle,” said outfielder Ivey Wagner. “I think the games could go either way if we continue to hit well and play solid defense.”
The team understands that it will need to make an improvement from this past week’s performance to come away successful.
“This weekend we will have to come out ready to play all four games competitively at a high level and will have to execute our plays defensively, attack on the mound and adjust from at-bat to at-bat,” Osovski said.
As the Red makes its final push toward the end of the season, it continues to look for ways to improve.
“I think at this point in the season we’re all fairly motivated by the fact that we only have two more weeks and then we’re done,” Wagner said. “We all realize it’s the final push and we want to finish the school year and softball season as strongly as we can.”
Farlow added on, saying this is what the team plays for.
“Our players train all year for competition,” she said. “These games are why they dedicate so many hours in the weight room and at practice, all while balancing academics. With only six play dates left, I expect them to give it all they have and leave nothing behind.”