April 25, 2003
Tennis Squads Culminate Campaigns Against Tigers
| April 25, 2003
Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams will conclude their seasons today against the Princeton Tigers. The men, who come in with a record of 16-6 overall and 3-3 in the Ivy League, will host the Tigers at the Reis Tennis Center. The women will head to New Jersey to battle the Tigers, hoping to snap a nine-match losing streak dating back to spring break.
The women, who are 2-12 overall on the season, are also searching for their first victory against an Ivy League opponent. One of the bright spots for the Red has been sophomore Melissa Tu, who has posted three singles victories against Ivy League foes, all at the No. 6 spot. Tu, along with classmate Erika Takeuchi, have posted two doubles wins at the No. 3 spot in the Dartmouth and Brown matches.
Another tandem to post a doubles victory was the team of sophomore Akane Kokubo and senior Nicole Chiu at the No. 1 spot against Dartmouth. Individually, Kokubo has two victories at her No. 1 spot against stiff competition, and Chiu posted a singles victory against Dartmouth at her usual No. 4 spot.
The men come into the match against the Tigers having split every weekend of Ivy play. The Tigers come into the match with a similar r
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April 28, 2003
The softball team went into the weekend with slim Ivy title hopes, needing to take care of business at home, and getting some help from Dartmouth and Harvard. With the combination of its three wins over the weekend and a 2-2 weekend by league leader Princeton, Cornell pulled to within half a game of the Tigers and its third Ivy title in six years. The weekend couldn’t have started any better for the Red (27-7, 10-4 Ivy), as sophomore Melissa Heintz gave Cornell a 3-2 win over Yale in the first game of a doubleheader with a walk-off homer. Cornell drew first blood in the bottom of the first when junior co-captain Melissa Cannon launched a two-run shot. Yale pulled to within one in the fourth inning, though, when Kristy Kwiatkowski led off the fourth inning with a solo home run. The score remained 2-1 until the seventh, when the Bulldogs tied the game on Laura Beckert’s RBI single. That set up Heintz’s heroics, as the second-year player hooked a flyball just inside the left field foul pole to give Cornell the victory. Junior Sarah Sterman earned the win despite allowing 11 Yale baserunners. In the nightcap, Yale struck a serious blow to Cornell’s championship aspirations by winning 4-1 in eight innings. The Bulldogs scored the three decisive runs during a two-out rally in which Beth Pavilcek and Kwiatkowski delivered run-scoring hits. Pavilcek was also dominant on the mound, as she pitched all eight innings while allowing just six baserunners to the Ivy League’s most potent lineup. Trailing 1-0, Cornell finally solved Pavilcek in its half of the fourth when Heintz delivered an RBI single. The score remained knotted at 1-1 until Yale broke through in extra innings. Freshman Whitney Smith took the loss, allowing the three runs in three innings of relief. Classmate Kristen Landis, who started the game, went six innings while giving up just one run. “There’s no doubt that we were banged around by Yale,” Cornell head coach Dick Blood said. “But we hung in there and got the split.” Heading into yesterday’s doubleheader against Brown, Cornell needed to win both games to avoid elimination from Ivy contention. It also needed Harvard to sweep red-hot Princeton after the Tigers swept Dartmouth on Saturday. Fortunately for the Red, everything fell into place. “I don’t like blowing smoke to my players,” Blood said. “Before the game, I told them that we just wanted to play good, solid softball.” Cornell did its part, winning by scores of 6-1 and 2-0. In game one, after falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, the Red answered with three runs in both the third and fifth. In the third, the Red scored on an RBI pop-up from junior Erin Sweeney and a two-run double from Cannon. Freshman Mackenzie Ryan started the inning with a walk, and Heintz followed with a bunt single. Senior co-captain Drew Martin then took one for the team, reaching base after being struck by a pitch. With the bases loaded, Sweeney lifted a ball to right field, which was caught by the second baseman, but advanced all the runners and plated the tying run. Cannon then struck a laser to center field which scored Heintz and Martin. The Red padded its total in the fifth with a combination of aggressive baserunning and power. After reaching on a walk, Sweeney advanced to third base on two passed balls, before scoring on junior Kate Varde’s suicide squeeze. Sophomore Lauren May then hit her 11th home run of the year, a two-run bomb that gave Cornell a 6-1 lead. Sterman earned her second win of the weekend with a complete game — an eight-hit gem. Cornell got its second strong pitching performance of the day in the nightcap from Smith. After suffering a loss on Saturday, Smith bounced back to give one of her finest efforts of the year, a three-hit shutout. The Red offense gave Smith all the support she needed in the second inning, when Landis and Sweeney each came up with RBI singles. Smith, in one of the most dominating efforts of the year, didn’t allow more than one baserunner in any inning. Cornell’s pitching, which has been solid all season long, was the difference in the sweep. “Our pitchers made some nice adjustments, working in and out,” Blood said. “They took the bat out of [Brown’s] hands.” The Red’s defense, which has been shaky at times, was also a strong point over the weekend. “Our defense made all the routine plays and they made some spectacular plays, too,” Blood said. The two wins yesterday kept Cornell alive in the Ivy title race. After dropping two extra-inning games to Harvard, Princeton fell to 10-3 in league play compared to Cornell’s 10-4. As a result of this weekend’s games, Princeton will now have to finish an earlier game with Brown that was postponed earlier in the year. The Tigers and the Bears will resume their game at a date to be determined, with Princeton ahead 8-5 and Brown up to bat in the bottom of the ninth inning. “If we could’ve taken care of business against Columbia earlier in the year and a little against Princeton, we’d be in better shape right now. I’d like to have one of those games back, and maybe even that extra-inning game [on Saturday] back,” Blood said of the Tigers’ sweep of Cornell two weeks back. However, Blood and his squad will take a wait and see approach. “We’re not even going to worry about it,” Blood said. “If it happens, it happens.”Archived article by Alex Ip
April 28, 2003
After failing to preserve leads in 6-3 and 7-5 losses on Saturday against Penn (22-17, 12-8 in Ivy) at Hoy Field, Cornell’s baseball team (15-16, 8-8) responded with a sweep yesterday against the Quakers behind the pitching performances of freshman Rocky Collis and junior Chris Schutt in 2-1 and 12-2 victories. The result keeps the Red’s slim postseason chances alive after Lou Gehrig division leader Princeton (20-17, 11-3) split with Columbia yesterday. “We played good baseball the past couple days. We played consistently in all four games, but we just didn’t come up with enough hits or key pitches on Saturday like we did on Sunday,” said head coach Tom Ford, assessing his squad’s play. In the series opener, a RBI double by freshman second baseman Seth Gordon and a RBI single by junior designated hitter Ned VanAllan gave the Red a 2-0 lead in the third. The Quakers quickly rallied to take the lead with three runs in the fourth and fifth innings before the Red tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth when senior first baseman Jim Jackson’s RBI single scored junior right fielder Jon Finch. However, the tie was shortlived when Penn sluggers Nick Italiano and Andrew McCreery hit back-to-back home runs, giving the Quakers a 6-3 victory in seven innings. McCreery finished the game 3-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored, leading the Quakers’ 11-hit attack. Gordon and Finch led the Red with two hits each, with both scoring a run. Gordon added an RBI, while one of Finch’s hits was a triple. Right-handed starter Dan Baysinger absorbed the loss, falling to 4-2 on the season. The junior lasted 6 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on nine hits. In the nightcap, the Red scored single runs in each of the first three innings to jump out to a 3-0 lead, but saw another early lead evaporate. Junior pitcher Dan Gala limited the Quakers to just two runs in seven innings, but Cornell’s bullpen was not up to the task. After falling behind 5-3 heading into the bottom of the ninth, the Red’s bats awoke from a slumber when sophomore shortstop Matt Miller and Schutt came through with clutch RBIs to send the game into extra innings. Nonetheless, sophomore Tad Bardenwerper and junior Luke Staskal could not silence the Quakers’ bats in the 10th, giving up two runs. Though facing only two batters, Bardenwerper picked up the loss, falling to 0-1. Yesterday, freshman Rocky Collis ensured that that the bullpen would be unnecessary, pitching a complete game gem in the opening 2-1 win. Collis notched his first complete game of the season, improving to 3-1 with a 3.60 ERA. The freshman allowed just one earned run on six hits and two walks, striking out seven Quakers. “I’ve been feeling really good lately,” said Collis. “I have a lot of confidence going out there and the defense has been playing really well behind me. That made it really easy for me to just out there and pitch my game.” Collis was not the only freshman to come through in the clutch for the Red, however. Heading into the bottom of the ninth knotted at 1-1, a trio of freshman engineered the winning run. Michael Weiss and Matt Goodson each came through with pinch-hit singles, while Gordon followed with a two-out RBI single to lift the Red to the victory. Gordon finished the game 2-for-4, adding the game-winning RBI. “It felt great to get the game-winning hit. I wasn’t doing too well earlier in the season, but the more playing time I get, the better I’ve been able to play. But, it wasn’t only me today coming through,” commented Gordon. In the final game of the four game series, Schutt was his usual dominant self on the mound, pitching eight strong innings, giving up only two unearned runs on five hits. He struck out 10 and walked four, improving to 3-4 on the season. “I don’t go out there now and try to do anything different from early in the season,” said Schutt about his late season dominance. “I just go out there and trust my defense and try to hit my spots. Other than that, I can’t really explain my success.” It was Schutt’s fifth consecutive start with double-digit strikeout totals, lifting his yearly total to 77 in just 55 2/3 innings. Opposing batters have hit just .190 against him as he has compiled a sterling ERA of 1.98, garnering the attention of professional scouts throughout the Northeast. “There were quite a few scouts out there watching him today and he’s certainly deserving of it. He’s really become one of the best pitchers in our league and is just dominant at times. He’s got a lively fastball, and both his slider and curveball are plus pitches,” said Ford of his ace. Schutt was the welcome recipient of unusual run support, as the Red matched its season high with 12 runs on 12 hits. Finch’s sixth inning grand slam broke open a close game, making it 6-0, and the Red added six more runs in the eighth to cap scoring. Finch paced the team with four RBI, finishing 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Senior Mike Martino was 2-for-4 also, contributing a bases-clearing double in the eighth inning. Gordon continued his weekend tear, going 3-for-5 with one run and three RBI. Overall, Gordon went 7-for-18 on the weekend with five RBI and two runs scored. The Red returns to play tomorrow against Siena for a doubleheader, before finishing its season against Princeton.Archived article by Mark Fetzko