The women’s softball team was once again unable to string together consecutive wins this weekend, splitting a pair of doubleheaders at Brown and Yale. It was the Red’s fourth and fifth split series of the season, moving Cornell’s record to 19-15 overall (4-4 Ivy).
Saturday’s first game in Providence saw the Red take an early lead on freshman Lauren May’s first-inning three-run home run. The shot over the left field fence ushered home sophomores Erin Sweeney and Kate Varde. Cornell went on to load the bases, but Brown’s Erin Durlesser was able to work out of the first-inning jam.
Senior Kristen Hricanek added another run for the Red on an RBI single in the next inning, while sophomore Sandra Alvarez smashed a home run to deep left field in the fifth to give her team a 6-1 lead. It was the third baseman’s fourth long ball of the year.
May added insurance with an RBI double in that same inning to extend the advantage to 8-1.
Sophomore starter Sarah Sterman then shut down the Bears’ offense, allowing just five hits in six innings of work. Freshman Alyssa Brune earned the save for the Red, closing out a 9-3 win in the seventh.
Cornell once again used its first licks to gain an early lead in game two when May singled home sophomore Melissa Cannon. Brown responded with its own run in the bottom half of the first after a passed ball plated Laura Leonetti.
A pitching duel ensued, as Cornell’s other sophomore starter Nicole LePera silenced a pair of rally attempts by the Bears. LePera’s performance allowed the Red to enter the game’s sixth inning in a 1-1 tie.
Freshman Billie Boles was sent in as a pinch runner for Hricanek and responded with a run in the top half of the inning. However, Brown quickly grabbed the lead back in the last half of the sixth.
A Melissa Brown double, sacrifice bunt, fielder’s choice, and blown double play later and Brown had regained the lead 3-2.
The Red was unable to conquer the difference in the game’s final inning and the Bears earned the split.
“It was a hard loss for us because we just didn’t get the job done at the end,” commented senior co-captain Christina Trout.
Yesterday’s match up in New Haven saw the Red once again play well in the first game and squander a solid lead late in the nightcap.
Yale’s Jillian Miles actually pitched masterfully in the opening contest, allowing just three total hits to the Red. However, Cornell knew when to get its hits and won an exciting 2-0 battle.
Varde opened the scoring in the third, singling home Cannon, while May did her part in the fifth, plating Alvarez with a bloop single to right field.
Sterman was solid on the mound for the Red, throwing a complete game five-hit, no-walk shutout to earn her 11th victory of the season.
Game two was even more heart stopping as Cornell opened up a two run lead in the opening frame.
Cannon scored on an error after a lead-off walk and May showed her versatility with a sacrifice bunt to score Alvarez.
The Red doubled its advantage in the third off the bats of sophomore Leah deRiel and Trout. Each singled home a run to give Cornell a 4-0 lead.
Yale would finally respond in the bottom half of the inning when Rina Brannen and Britni Fabacher hit consecutive doubles to cut the lead to 4-1. LePera then walked back-to-back batters to load the bases.
Sterman was then sent in as relief only to see a Shayna Filson flyball sail over the left field wall for a heart breaking grand slam. The Bulldogs would add to their lead in the sixth with four runs off five straight hits. The final score was 8-4.
“We made mistakes in key situations [during the two losses],” Trout added, “they were close games and we just didn’t pull through.”
The Red next plays Wednesday when it hosts a doubleheader with St. Bonaventure at 3 p.m.
“We’ve come a long way, we’re a young team,” finished Trout, “but we’re not going to just lay down for anyone. We’ll compete.”
Archived article by Scott Jones