Continuing a trend that got old quicker than slap bracelets, the softball team split its seventh straight doubleheader yesterday in a home series against Syracuse. The Red counted on familiar sources in its 3-0 opening game victory and could not recover from a first inning grand slam in the night cap, losing 12-3.
Sophomore ace Sarah Sterman threw her third shutout in just over a week to carry Cornell over the Orange in game one. Sterman gave up just three hits in her complete game effort and ended the game by retiring 18 of the final 19 ‘Cuse batters. Sterman has now earned a victory in her last seven starts to up her record to 15-7 on the season.
“She’s been outstanding,” said senior co-captain Christina Trout of the second year hurler. “Sometimes we don’t even realize it but she keeps us in every game she pitches.”
With Sterman once again cruising on the mound, freshman Lauren May provided all the offense her team needed. After sophomore Melissa Cannon earned a one out walk in the bottom of the first, May stepped up and added to her single season record by blasting yet another long ball over the left field fence.
“I remember it was a 3-2 count and I really didn’t want to walk,” said May of her 16th home run of 2002, “I was looking for something to hit and I got it.”
Senior co-captain Annette Sheppard added to the Red lead in the third inning when she drove in Cannon, who had led off the frame with a double, singling home her teammate to finalize the 3-0 score.
In game two, the Orange struck early by loading the bases with one out in the top of the first inning. Cornell sophomore starter Nicole LePera then walked home Syracuse’s first run of the day. Things only got worse for the Red when Julie Dunn launched a LePera pitch over the left field wall to tally the first grand slam in Syracuse history.
Freshman Alyssa Brune, who had earned a victory over S.U. in the championship game of a fall tournament during the offseason, also struggled in relief of LePera. Syracuse would earn three more runs in the third inning off a series of walks and errors.
“It’s tough for us, as a young team, to get out of any early hole and believe we can win,” said Trout of the early inning deficit.
The Orange added insult to injury in the fourth inning when Tanya Rose knocked out a three-run home run to lengthen the lead to 11-1.
Syracuse got one more run off a wild pitch in the fifth while Cornell mustered its second and third runs on a Trout dinger in the bottom half of the fifth.
“It was a tough second game,” said May of the series, “but we feel good about taking a game from them after they swept us last year.”
After sharing victories with their in-state rival, Cornell’s record stands at 23-19 (6-6 Ivy). The Red will continue its long run of home twin bills when it hosts Ithaca College at 3 p.m. today at Neimand-Robison Field.
Archived article by Scott Jones