March 25, 2002

Errors Hurt Softball

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Defensive errors characterized the softball team’s Florida trip, as it fell to 12-8 on the season. During its fourteen game stretch, the team won six of its ten match-ups at the Rebel Games and went 0-4 in its reaming Florida contests.

During the week, the team recorded victories against Vermont, 6-2, Central Florida, 8-1, Dartmouth, 11-6, Colgate, 4-1, Wisconsin Green Bay, 5-1, and Bethune Cookman, 4-1.

The Red fell to Stetson in a doubleheader, 10-7 and 4-0, Lipscomb, 5-3, in its first meeting with Wisconsin Green Bay, 2-1, Columbia, 5-3, Army, 3-2, and in its twin bill against Bethune Cookman, 4-1 and 3-1.

Despite the team’s losing record during the Florida getaway, the team played some extremely strong opponents. Currently, Stetson is on a 28 game winning streak, and the University of Central Florida had been on a 21 game roll before falling to the Red. Bethune Cookman finished last season with a 45-17 record.

The weakness of the Red appeared to be its defense.

“We struggled with the routine play several times in the week and that shot us in the foot,” explained head coach Dick Blood. “Offensively, there were many bright spots, but you can’t count on your offense to be consistent. Your defense has to be [consistent] and that’s where we struggled.”

These defensive errors may have been deciding factors in several games during the week. Five Red errors helped Columbia earn its victory, and miscues were the cause of defeats in the Bethune Cookman doubleheader.

However, despite some defensive problems, there were some bright spots in the field, specifically on the mound. Sophomore pitching sensations Sarah Sterman and Nicole LePera continued to play strongly and kept the Red in every game.

“Our pitching was outstanding,” complimented Blood. “They gave up very few hits and very few walks. The pitchers did a really nice job.”

Despite some defensive problems, the team was once again able to rely on its bats.

Cornell was fueled by freshman hitting phenom, Lauren May, who recorded her tenth home run of the season during the trip.

Adding to May’s offensive power was last year’s Ivy League Rookie of the Year, sophomore Kate Varde.

Play after play the tandem showed no mercy against opposing pitchers.

“Lauren May and Kate Varde have both been pounding the ball,” praised Blood. “Both are hovering around .400 and they are in the middle of the order. If we get some contributions from other folks, we can start to get rolling.”

However, the team offense was not always one hundred percent.

Blood admitted, “We’ve stumbled a little bit offensively. If we can get our kids rolling again we’ll be on solid ground.”

In the next two days before the home opener against Colgate, the team will be looking to work out this past week’s defensive weak spots.

“We have some individual defensive work, moving of feet, following through, some technical stuff [to work on],” stated Blood.

With those areas ironed out, the Red will be well on its way to a winning season beginning Wednesday on Niemand-Robinson Field. Having defeated the Raiders during the Rebel Games, 4-1, Cornell will look to repeat its success.

Archived article by Kristen Haunss