The softball team couldn’t have asked for a better start to its season as it went 4-0 down in Virginia at the Dixie Classic. Norfolk State, James Madison, and UMBC all fell prey to the Red who finished the weekend outscoring its opponents 34-7. The Red was scheduled to play in a semi-final match on Sunday, but the game was rained out.
Senior co-captain Annette Sheppard praised the team’s weekend effort saying, “I’m really excited about the way we played. I’m really happy about how we did.”
Classmate and co-captain Christina Trout also praised the team’s play.
“We started off the season great. We went out with a lot of excitement and heart. It was really nice to see that everyone was able to contribute.”
On Friday, Cornell opened up with a 13-5 victory over an understaffed Norfolk State. Trout went 2-2 with five RBIs in the match. Sophomore Melissa Cannon and junior Drew Martin each went 2-4. Freshman Lauren May made her impact felt immediately as she hit the first homerun of her career. Sophomore Sarah Sterman earned the win on the mound.
The second matchup saw the Red defeat James Madison 8-0. Sophomore Nicole LePera earned the win striking out two and allowing three hits in six innings. May once again made her presence known knocking another shot out of the park. Sophomores Kate Varde and Erin Sweeney combined to drive in four runs, going a combined 4-7.
In Friday’s final game against UMBC the Red once again shut out its competition, this time 6-0. Sterman pitched six innings allowing four hits and striking out four batters. LePera held UMBC hitless in relief. Varde went 2-3, with three RBIs and two runs. Sophomore Leah deRiel sent the Red’s third ball of the day out of the park — a two run shot.
Saturday’s game once again pitted Cornell against UMBC, this time with the Red taking away a 7-2 decision. LePera pitched into the fifth inning for the win, letting up only two hits. Sterman came in for the last five outs, three of which came in the form of strikeouts. Senior Kristen Hricenak went 2-3 sending in two runs and Trout added a two-run triple.
Head coach Dick Blood couldn’t have been happier with the results of his team’s play.
“I was really excited. Our kids did a real nice job. We were a little steadier than we were down there last year.”
The Red finished 3-3 at the Dixie Classic in 2001.
One question that existed before the team left Ithaca was what contribution the freshman class would make.
Any hesitation about the new class was silenced as the rookies showed that they came to play.
“The freshman did a wonderful job,” praised Blood. “One of the nice things they showed us was that we have some very good depth.”
Trout also praised her younger teammates stating, “It was really exciting for them to show that they could play; that they had the confidence to play at this level. Their attitudes were low key and they got the job done.”
The team will look to continue its success as it travels down to Pennsylvania this weekend. It will take on Drexel University Saturday and St. Joseph’s Sunday.
Archived article by Kristen Haunss