Softball’s senior Sandra Alvarez came to the plate yesterday in the sixth inning of a 1-1 game against Dartmouth just looking for a pitch. What she found was a game-winning solo home run that gave Cornell a crucial, 2-1, win over Dartmouth and a sweep of the two-game series.
Alvarez found herself down early in the count against Dartmouth’s ace pitcher, Danica Giugliano, but refused to give in. After fouling off numerous pitches from Giugliano, Alvarez finally got one up in the zone, which she drove over the right center field fence.
“I got up there basically with the mentality that I’m not sitting down until this girl pitches me a strike,” Alvarez said. “I really don’t like to walk at all. So I just waited for the strike and I guess it worked out that time.”
“Whitney was very sharp,” said head coach Dick Blood. “She defended the mound very well and she used her breaking ball and off-speed stuff to get ahead in the count on nearly every batter.”
Dartmouth struck first, in the fourth inning, when it loaded the bases without ever hitting the ball out of the infield. After Dartmouth scored one run off of a fielder’s choice, the Red was able to get out of the inning thanks to clutch pitching by Smith.
“Whitney just pitched out of a big jam there,” Blood said. “She got a key strikeout and a popup and that just breathed a little wind into our sails.”
Cornell answered right back in the bottom of the fourth inning, when senior Melissa Cannon reached on a single to right and was driven in by a line drive to right center from sophomore Caitlin Warren. Alvarez then followed in the sixth with a solo home run to give the Red a precarious one-run lead. Dartmouth threatened to steal the victory from the Red in the seventh inning, when it put runners in scoring position, but Smith quickly ended the Green’s challenge, closing out the game with a strikeout.
“That was a big win for us,” Blood said. “This time of the year is the time of the year you want to be playing your best softball.”
Cornell returns to Niemand-Robison Field tomorrow when it hosts Syracuse at 3 p.m.
Archived article by Paul Testa
Sun Staff Writer