March 12, 2001

Softball Splits with St. Joseph's, Drexel

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The Cornell softball team (5-5) learned an important lesson in Philadelphia this weekend: victory is always sweeter the second time around. Both Saturday against Drexel (3-8) and yesterday against St. Joseph’s (2-8), the Red dropped its first contest only to come back and win the second game of the doubleheader.

On Saturday, senior pitcher Lori Swanson struck out nine batters to defeat the Red 7-4 in the Dragons’ first home game. Down 2-0 after the first, Cornell battled back, scoring one run in the third and two more in the fourth to take a 3-2 lead. A homerun by Cornell senior third baseman Allison Batten increased the team’s lead to 4-2 heading into the bottom of the fifth.

This lead would not last long though. After an active fifth inning the Red never saw the advantage again.

The fifth frame saw the Dragons drive home five runs, ending any chances of a Red comeback.

Senior Nicole Zitarelli suffered the loss for the visitors.

Refusing to be shutout, Cornell turned around and won the second game 2-1. Freshman Sarah Sterman earned the win.

“Sarah really stepped up in the second game,” commented head coach Dick Blood.

After a scoreless first, each team grabbed a run to keep the game tied 1-1 until the sixth inning. Junior catcher Annette Sheppard, who had singled earlier in the inning scored on a two-out fielder’s choice error.

Of the day Blood stated, “Any time you drop the first game, you are satisfied with a split.”

The Red would once again have to be satisfied with a split after it lost its opening game against St. Joseph’s yesterday 5-0. The defeat was characterized by numerous missed opportunities on Cornell’s part.

“We had opportunities midway through,” commented Blood. He later added that Cornell was “not [its] sharpest.”

However in literal deja vu, the Red found itself battling back from an early loss in order to finish the day 1-1. Adjustments, specifically at the plate, proved to be the key ingredient needed.

“We needed to cover the plate and turn on the inside pitch,” commented Blood.

The team was able to do just that and pull out a 3-2 victory in the second game of the day. Sterman earned the win.

In the second inning, freshman Kate Varde rocked a 255-foot homer with one out and no one on base to score the first run. The winning run came from senior Sarah Sinclair off of a shot by junior Julie Staub.

Blood acknowledged the play of his team.

“The kids are excited,” he said. “They played good fundamental softball. They hit the ball well and played good defense.”

Despite his praise, Blood doesn’t think the team is ready for Ivy league competition yet. Nonetheless, he noted that these past 10 games as well as the games in Florida over Spring Break will be good preparation for the contests next month.

After finishing its slate in Florida, the team goes on an extended road trip and returns home on April 5 to play Sienna.

Archived article by Kristen Haunss