April 3, 2003

Softball Hosts Siena in Non-Conference Twinbill

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Weather permitting, the softball team (12-3) will take to the field against Siena (3-9) for a midweek doubleheader this afternoon. The Red is currently riding a four-game winning streak, and has won 12 of its last 13 games after starting the season with two defeats. Meanwhile, the Saints come into today’s affair after losing an extra-inning game against Holy Cross yesterday afternoon.

For the Red, the games will provide a final tune-up before the team begins Ivy play on Saturday at Columbia.

“We’re looking forward to it,” said Cornell head coach Dick Blood. “They’ll be great, great games for us to stay sharp for Columbia.”

Outfielder Carrie Getz and second baseman Sarah Rose may pose the most problems for the Red. Getz leads Siena with a blistering .513 batting average, which includes 20 hits in her 39 at-bats this season. Meanwhile, Rose has been the club’s top run producer, driving in six runs on the year.

“They’ve got enough pop in the middle of their order to give them the ballgame. So, we have to keep the ball away from those people,” Blood said.

Strong pitching has carried Cornell recently, as junior Sarah Sterman and freshman Whitney Smith have become a formidable 1-2 punch on the mound. An All-Ivy first-team performer a season ago, Sterman has picked up where she left off last season, as she has already won eight games and is carrying just a 1.24 ERA.

“Sarah and Whitney have both thrown the ball very, very well,” Blood said.

Likewise, Smith has been dominating opponents of late. After struggling in her first start of the year, Smith has been on a roll and has won her last four decisions. With her three-hit shutout performance of Drexel last weekend, Smith was named the Ivy League’s Pitcher of the Week.

“We’re excited for that award, we definitely are,” Blood said. “We appreciate the awards, but we understand that that’s not what’s ultimately important.”

Cornell’s lineup has also been impressive early this season. Although sophomore slugger Lauren May has missed the last few games with a high ankle sprain, the offense continues to churn out runs. One of the players who has picked up the slack has been junior leadoff hitter Erin Sweeney, who had a big weekend, going 4-for-8 in the weekend series against Drexel.

“It’s nice to see her healthy, nice to see her running the bases again,” Blood said. “And she’s actually been a little more aggressive at the plate, which has helped. Erin has started to swing the bat a little more aggressively, and that’s put her on base, and when she’s on base, we can score more runs.”

The first game is scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m. at Niemand-Robison field, with the second game to begin at 5:00 p.m.

Archived article by Alex Ip