March 29, 2004

Softball Wins 11 in Florida

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For several weeks now, baseball’s major leaguers have been enjoying sunny Florida for the spring training season. Over spring break, the softball team joined them in the more pleasant southern climate. The Red had a stretch of 15 games in only eight days, with the team capturing wins in 11 of those contests.

The Red began its road trip in Kissimmee for the Rebel Spring Games. Cornell got off to a great start, winning the first two games over Fordham and SE Missouri State. In game one, the Red was able to hold off the Rams by a score of 1-0 behind a strong pitching performance by senior Sarah Sterman. Sterman threw seven innings of scoreless ball, scattering five hits in the process. In game two, the Red again relied on its pitching as sophomore Whitney Smith tossed a complete game, allowing only one unearned run on three hits. The following day, the Red split a doubleheader with Colgate. In game one, Cornell won 2-0 behind another strong outing by Kristen Landis. The sophomore allowed only two hits over 5 and 1/3 innings with Sterman closing out the final inning and 2/3. Freshman Erin Murtha drove in the only two runs with a RBI double to right field. In the second game against the Raiders, the Red were unable to get the bats going and lost 3-0.

After four games in Kissimmee, Cornell traveled to DeLand, Fla. on Monday for the Stetson Invitational. The Red started off poorly, dropping both games in a doubleheader to Jacksonville State. Cornell got off to a bad start, surrendering a two-run home run in the first inning of game one. Unfortunately for the Red, the Gamecock’s offensive attack could not be slowed down, and the Red lost 16-5. The bright spot for the Red was a solo homer off the bat of junior catcher Melissa Heintz. In game two, Cornell could not stop the Gamecocks again, being shut out by a score of 8-0.

The Stetson Invitational continued on Tuesday as the Red swept a doubleheader from Drexel 11-1 and 8-0, with the pitching staff returning to its former dominance. The team got off to a great start against the Dragons, as senior Kate Varde delivered a three-run home run in the second inning of game one. Sterman got the win, tossing five innings of one-run ball.

In game two, Smith took the hill again, allowing no runs on two hits over six innings of work.

On Wednesday, Cornell capitalized on its opportunity to avenge the two losses at the hands of Jacksonville State, beating the Gamecocks 14-8. Sweeney had a big day, going 2-4 with a grand slam. Cornell returned to action on Thursday, this time taking two games from Wright State. In game one, the Red was able to squeeze past the Raiders 3-1 behind a complete game by Sterman. In the second contest, Smith recorded her second shutout in as many starts, allowing only four hits in six innings.

Cornell faced Drexel again on Friday, taking its third game from the Dragons in less than a week. Lauren May hit her sixth home run of the year to lead the Red to an 11-1 victory. The team continued its winning ways the following day, defeating Stetson 3-1 in the final game of the Stetson Invitational. Varde led the offensive attack for the Red, going 2-3 with a home run.

The Red concluded its Florida trip with a split of a doubleheader with Bethune Cookman in Daytona Beach. The team fell 6-2 in the first game, but rallied back for a 5-3 win in game two, behind two homers by May. Cornell improved its record to 16-7 with the win.

Archived article by Bryan Pepper
Sun Staff Writer