After opening its spring break trip in Florida with two losses to Stetson, the softball team (8-2) rolled off eight consecutive victories in the Rebel Games to finish the week-long excursion. The Red received dominant pitching and timely hitting in opening its season, which had been delayed due to inclement weather, with eight wins in its first 10 ballgames. Cornell’s freshman pitcher Whitney Smith also made history during the week, pitching just the third no-hitter in the program’s history.
The trip began poorly for Cornell, as it dropped two games to Stetson by scores of 6-1 and 4-2 last Sunday. Junior hurler Sarah Sterman suffered her only lost to date in the opener, allowing all six runs, including four in the first, in her six innings of work. Smith lost the nightcap, suffering a defeat in her first collegiate start.
Things would only improve for the Red, as it headed to the Rebel Games in Kissimmee, Fla. last Monday against IUPUI and St. Peters. Cornell earned its first victory of its campaign with a 13-4 thrashing of IUPUI, paced by a five-run outburst in the second inning which broke the game open. Nine Red players had hits in the contest, while seven had at least one RBI, including freshman Mackenzie Ryan, who hit the first home run of her Cornell career.
Meanwhile, the Red had a tougher game against St. Peters, which it won by a 4-3 score in eight innings. Trailing by two runs heading into the sixth, the Red scored the tying runs in the bottom of the inning before winning on junior Kate Varde’s RBI double in extra frames.
Cornell blew out its next two opponents, Dayton and Rider, by a combined score of 21-3. Sophomore Lauren May, last year’s Ivy Rookie of the Year, along with freshman Stephanie Foster provided the offensive punch in the Dayton game, accounting for seven of the team’s nine RBI. The 11-2 win over Rider featured a more balanced attack, with six players collecting run-scoring hits, including homers from Varde, May, and junior Sandra Alvarez.
Smith made history in the Red’s 8-0 win over George Washington on Wednesday, as she allowed just one walk in her no-hitter.
In total, Smith allowed just two baserunners, a first inning bases on balls as well as one who reached on a fifth-inning error. In the shutout, Smith struck out eight. Cornell won the second game of the day, beating Vermont 10-1 by scoring nine runs in the final three innings to break open a 1-1 tie. May was the hitting star once again, belting homers number two and three on the year.
The Red concluded its Florida trip with two more victories, as it blanked Fordham 5-0 before disposing of Army 8-6. Sterman picked up her first shutout of the year against Fordham, holding her opponent to just four hits. She won the nightcap as well, coming in relief of Smith.
After losing her first start of the year, Sterman has won six consecutive decisions and has given up just two earned runs in her last 30 innings. Meanwhile, fellow All-Ivy first teamers from a season ago, Varde and May, are pacing the offense. Varde is batting a team best .571 to go along with her two home runs and 14 RBI, while May has four homers and 18 RBI along with a .500 batting average.
The Red will next play on Thursday, when it heads to Colgate for a doubleheader against the Raiders.
Archived article by Alex Ip