The sun is finally shining in Ithaca, and no one could be more excited than the Cornell softball team (14-11, 2-0 Ivy). With a season marred by inclement weather, the Red is ready for its home opener at Niemando Robison Field today. Nothing is sweeter than a homecoming, and the team is prepared to improve its winning streak to four as it battles it out with Siena (9-7) today at 3 p.m.
The Red is currently flying high after defeating Columbia this past weekend to open its Ivy League season. On the mound for the Red was freshman Sarah Sterman and senior Nicole Zitarelli. Due to their stellar performances this past weekend, Zitarelli and Sterman were both honored by the Ivy League. Zitarelli was named the Ivy League Pitcher of the Week after she allowed just four hits in 14 innings, struck out five and did not allow an earned run in seven innings in the loss against Fairfield. In the 4-0 win over Columbia she allowed just two hits and struck out five in seven innings. Sterman was named to the Honor Roll by giving up only one earned run and striking out 10 in Cornell’s opener against Columbia.
Overall the team is upbeat and ready to play. Senior Captain Charlotte Brombach commented, “Right now we are composed, I’m pretty happy where we are right now, people are into it. It’s good to be a part of Cornell softball.”
The Saints of Siena come in after paying St. Peter’s College and Manhattan College a visit this past weekend. Overall, Sienna has posted some big wins against Yale and Providence. The Saints most crushing victory however came against Lafayette College at the George Mason Tournament where they downed the Leopards 8-1. Its second biggest margin of victory game in the opener of the doubleheader against Bucknell when they beat the Bisons 7-3 on the road. Leading the way for Siena is Jodie Fiacco who in 48 at bats has recorded 18 hits and is posting a .375 average. She is followed by Colleen Dunn who has started all 18 games and has record 20 hits at 56 at bats.
In last year’s meeting Cornell came away with the victory in both games. In the opener, Zitarelli earned the 2-1 win, while in the second game the Red just proved to formidable demolishing the Saints 14-6. Three runs in each of the first two innings gave the Red a great start and five more runs in the top of the seventh sealed the victory.
Although the Red has been able to handle the Saints, this meeting will be different, as Siena has increased its recruiting bringing in some top-notch freshman. The pitching of Zitarelli and Sterman might prove too much, even for an outstanding freshman class as they return to the mound. Overall, it should be a good matchup and some great softball.
If the Red keeps its upbeat attitude, and maintains its level of play, it will be difficult to beat. After today’s game, the Red will remain at home and take on Brown on Saturday and Yale on Sunday. Both are doubleheaders and they begin at noon.
Archived article by Kristen Haunss