April 19, 2002

Softball Hosts Pair of Conference Foes

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This could possible be the most important weekend for the softball team (20-16, 4-4 Ivy) this season as Ivy League foes Harvard (21-7, 7-1) and Dartmouth (18-12, 4-4), come to town. As the regular season heads into the last quarter of its schedule, the Red will need to come together. Harvard is currently ranked second in the league one game behind first-place Princeton. Dartmouth is tied with Cornell, standing four games behind the leader.

Tomorrow’s matchup pits the Big Green against the Red in the battle of the third place teams. Dartmouth is coming off two shutout victories last week, which gives them to four shutouts on the year. Offensively Sarah Damon is closing in on the 200 career hit mark; she has 172 with 16 regular season games remaining.

On the mound, Lisa Caruso has been tough, recording 14 strikeouts in three games last week and giving up only two walks.

Head coach Dick Blood called Caruso a “short fiery fastballer who works both side of the plate.”

“They have some pop in their bats,” Blood said about the Green team. “All I can say is that they are very solid. I expect a couple of good ball games.”

Sunday could be the best game of the season, if only for the rivalry between the two teams. In the past three years, either Cornell or Harvard have claimed the Ivy League title. Last year Cornell and Harvard ended the regular season tied for first-place. The Red eventually knocked off the Crimson in a one-game playoff, earning the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Harvard is playing well and boasts this week’s Ivy League Player of the week, junior Tiffany Whitton. Whitton hit four home runs, two doubles and drove in 14 runs during Harvard’s games last week. She hit a grand slam to help Harvard hand Princeton its only loss last Saturday. Her four home runs last weekend helped her tie the Harvard single-season home run record of 10.

Although Cornell is concentrating on Dartmouth right now, the Crimson is in the back of the team’s minds.

“They have the best offensive team in the league.” Blood said,

Cornell has had trouble staying consistent, splitting games its last four times out, most recently against St. Bonaventure on Wednesday. However, the team is looking to come out swinging, literally, knowing the importance of this weekend.

Ivy League Rookie of the Week Lauren May broke teammate Kate Varde’s single-season home run record of 14 this past week. She is currently batting .409 with 41 RBIs for the season. May’s bat, as well as Varde’s, has been an important part of the Red’s success. Varde is currently sitting third on the Ivy list for most multiple-hit games with 10 and her 13-game hitting streak was the league’s longest. The streak was just stopped in the team’s loss to Canisius.

On the mound sophomore Sarah Sterman has been impressive, earning a three-hit shutout in the win against St. Bonaventure on Wednesday.

“As our fans have seen, we have been stumbling, we’ll win one, lose one. It’s been frustrating for everyone. We hope we can right the ship and play with confidence. That is really what we are looking forward to,” Blood said.

Senior co-captain Christina Trout said, “This weekend will give us a chance to show what we can do.”

Saturday’s start against Dartmouth is slated for 1 p.m. at Niemand-Robison Field, while Sunday is set to begin at 12 p.m.

Archived article by Kristen Haunss