The softball team found out just how much of a difference a few errors can make in its Ivy league opener against Columbia on Saturday. Cornell split the doubleheader, winning the first game, 2-1, while dropping the second game, 7-1.
“I think the games showed what we saw down in Florida, which is that we’re vulnerable,” said head coach Dick Blood. “We’re vulnerable defensively and we’re vulnerable when our pitching isn’t as consistent as it should be.”
Cornell’s defense was flawless in the first game, and it showed with the team’s hard-fought 2-1 win. The Red committed no errors, while senior Sarah Sterman held Columbia to just one run on eight hits in seven innings.
“She’s been rock solid for us for three years now,” Blood said.
Senior Kate Varde opened the scoring for Cornell in the bottom of the first. Reaching first base on a walk, she stole second and proceeded to take third on a throwing error by Columbia’s catcher. She then scored on a passed ball to give the Red a 1-0 lead after one inning.
Columbia tied the game in the third when the Lions’ Hillary Parsons lined a double to right center that scored Stephanie Reeder.
It was a different story for the Red in the second game, as it gave up seven runs while committing seven errors. Cornell dug itself an early hole, giving up four runs on two hits and three errors to Columbia in the first inning. Although Columbia continued to add to its lead, the four runs from the first would be more than enough, as the Red’s batters ran into the Lions’ Megan Ivey, who held Cornell to just one run on seven hits, while striking out three.
“She was a solid pitcher but she wasn’t unhittable,” Blood said.
Blood was disappointed with his team’s performance defensively in both the infield and the outfield. He also felt the team needed to start swinging the bats better, as Cornell’s offense has traditionally been one of the team’s strongest assets.
Sophomore Whitney Smith pitched for the Red, allowing seven runs, only two of which were earned.
The one bright spot in the nightcap for Cornell came in the seventh inning, when sophomore Kristen Landis sent a bomb over the center field fence for her first home run of the season and the Red’s only run of the game.
The Red is now 18-8 on the season and will hope to make some of those improvements tomorrow, when it travels to Canisius for a doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m.
Archived article by Paul Testa
Sun Staff Writer