May 2, 2002

Softball Visits Bearcats

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On the strength of superb starting pitching, flashy glove-work, and timely hitting, the women’s softball team (27-19, 8-6 Ivy) is riding a four-game winning streak heading into today’s doubleheader against Binghamton (22-21). The Red will visit a Bearcats team that is equally hot, having also won its last four outings.

The Red comes into today after sweeping Columbia over the weekend and Ithaca College on Tuesday. Over the past four games, the Red has allowed just four runs, all of which came in the second game of the doubleheader with the Bombers a game which Cornell won by a 6-4 margin.

Sophomore pitcher Sarah Sterman continues to shine for the Red, currently holding a streak of 29-2/3 innings of shutout softball. She pitched four consecutive complete game shutouts over the past two weeks, including a seven-inning masterpiece in her most recent outing against Ithaca College. The two-time Ivy League Pitcher of the Week currently leads the Ivy League with 18 wins. Her 132 strikeouts put her just seven behind the Cornell single-season mark held by Julie Westbrock ’99.

In addition to Sterman’s pitching exploits, sophomore pitcher Nicole LePera won the nightcap against Ithaca. The hurler had been struggling before earning her ninth win of the season.

“We’re really happy for her,” Cornell head coach Dick Blood said. “It’s nice to see [her win]. It’s not only a big confidence boost for her, but it’s also a big boost for the team.”

Cornell’s offense has been stagnant as of late, scoring just 10 runs during its current four-game streak. Ivy League Rookie of the Week, Lauren May, continues to swing a hot bat, however, currently leading the team in batting average (.372), home runs (16), and RBI (49). After a broken nose in the earlier portion of the season, sophomore Melissa Cannon is rounding into form. With four hits against the Bombers two days ago, Cannon upped her season average to .286.

“She broke her nose in Florida and that set her back,” Blood said of Cannon’s injury earlier in the year, noting her recent success. “She’s just more aggressive, plain and simple.”

The Bearcats have also been successful recently, sweeping four games from Vermont over the weekend. Melissa Lavin has been the hottest bat in the lineup, riding a nine-game hitting streak in which she is batting .560 (14-for-26). While Lavin as streaked, Jessica Chellis has been a model of consistency for Binghamton throughout the season. She leads the squad with a .319 batting average, five home runs, and 25 RBI.

While the Binghamton pitching staff is not dominant, it has been able to keep the team in most of its ballgames. Despite holding a 1.42 ERA, Margaret Yerdon has received poor run support from her club and has just an 8-10 record on the season. Meanwhile, teammate Mary Karen Wheat is 10-10 with a 2.14 ERA.

“Their two pitchers throw very well,” Blood commented.

Although Cornell’s league season has concluded, it is still preparing for big games against Boston College and UConn.

“This will be a good warmup for us,” Blood noted.

However, the Red will not overlook the formidable Bearcats.

“Binghamton’s a solid club,” Blood added. “They’re very, very talented and run well.”

The games are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.

Archived article by Alex Ip