With their minds on a league matchup between Princeton and Brown, which will decide the Ivy League title, members of the softball team will finish their regular season at Quinnipiac. The Tigers and Brown will finish a game which was delayed earlier in the year, with Princeton leading 8-5 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning. If the Bears are able to overcome Princeton, Cornell will earn a share of the Ancient Eight crown. However, while the Red eyes the out-of-town scoreboard, it will face one of its toughest opponents in the season.
Quinnipiac (32-15, 13-8 MAAC) enters the game having won six of its previous eight games. The Bobcats have been particularly tough at home, as they’ve won 18 of their 23 contests in their friendly confines.
“Quinnipiac is a really good softball team,” head coach Dick Blood said.
Alisha Zabel and Melissa Reynolds lead Quinnipiac with their stellar pitching. Zabel has a 1.94 ERA on the year and currently holds an 11-7 record. Meanwhile, Reynolds has a 2.79 ERA en route to a 14-4 record.
“Their top two pitchers move the ball in and out very well,” Blood said. “They don’t have an overpowering strikeout to walk ratio, but one pitcher has 80-plus strikeouts.”
As good as the Bobcats pitching is, the lineup packs a whallop as well. Quinnipiac bats .284 as a team, with standout Sarah Collins leading the way with a .414 average. Collins is a bonafide power hitter, smashing 12 homers and driving in 37 runs on the year. In addition to Collins, Quinnipiac has five other hitters who have reached double-digits in RBI.
“One of the kids at the top of the order has 12 roundtrippers,” Blood said.
For the Red, these last two non-conference games may have significant postseason implications.
After beating Ithaca College on Tuesday, the Red is now 29-7 on the year, and 10-4 in Ivy action. Currently sitting in second place in the Ivies, Cornell is hoping to earn its third Ivy championship in five years, pending the result of the Princeton-Brown game. A share of the Ancient Eight championship would afford Cornell the opportunity to play for a bid into the NCAA tournament.
Cornell also has the opportunity to make the ECAC tournament. In addition, if it wins one more game this season, it will reach the 30-win mark, a goal that the team sets each season.
However, for now, the Red will try to focus on the Bobcats.
“They should be really good competition,” Blood said.
Archived article by Alex Ip