April 19, 2001

Ivy-Leading Softball Team Vists St. Bonaventure

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The Cornell women’s softball team (24-13, 8-2 Ivy) heads to St. Bonaventure today to oil its parts before heading into another big weekend of Ivy League play.

The Red is coming off a successful weekend of battling two Ivy foes to stay atop a league whose theme of late has been parity — a league so balanced, that last weekend, of the eight Ivy League doubleheaders played, not a single series was a sweep.

Of course, that doesn’t matter in a non-league game that can be easily looked over when considering the exciting weekend ahead.

“It’s hard to focus on this game when we’re so excited about the weekend,” admitted senior pitcher Nicole Zitarelli, “but we know that we have to play like we have been in order to win [against St. Bonaventure].”

Although St. Bonaventure is currently sporting a 3-23 overall record, its history against the Red has been exciting with Cornell holding a 16-6 advantage in the all-time series.

“We’ve tended to have tough games against them because they are always fundamentally sound,” recalled Zitarelli.

St. Bonaventure, although struggling to win games, has played many close contests against the consistently strong competition in the Atlantic 10. It has held teams to four or five runs and has found its troubles manifest themselves at the plate.

“They have played teams tight all year but just haven’t got the run production,” said head coach Dick Blood, “that means we’ll have to concentrate on our bats in the doubleheader.”

With the importance of any single game (including tomorrow’s) in mind, any player, coach, fan, or reporter can’t help but look forward to this weekend — a three day stretch which, as has been the case all season long, will have huge implications for the standings in the race for the Ivy crown.

At this point in the season, with the Red currently at the front of that race, the team is realizing just how exciting its success and the race as a whole have been.

“We have surpassed any expectations we had imagined for ourselves,” said freshmen Kate Varde, “and we’re definitely realizing that we have a shot to win another [Ivy League championship] with the juniors and seniors who already have one.”

Pondering past success and the increasing expectations for his championship minded team, Coach Blood was sure to remain grounded in what has to be done in today’s games.

“Our focus is, of course, on the weekend,” he said, “but we know that [today] we have a chance to hold our skills, see some live pitching, and stay sharp before heading into more league games.”

The Red begins its doubleheader against the Bonnies today at 3PM in St. Bonaventure.

Archived article by Scott Jones