May 3, 2004

Softball Takes Two From Quinnipiac

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It had been a rough day at the plate for senior Sandra Alvarez in Cornell’s series against Quinnipiac on Saturday at Neimand-Robison Field. Before her final at bat in Game 2, she’d gone a combined one-for-six with three strikeouts on the day. None of that made a difference when, with the bases loaded in the bottom of seventh inning, Alvarez hit a game winning grand-slam, a towering shot that bounced off the scoreboard in left field.

Cornell swept the doubleheader against Quinnipiac, 5-3 and 7-3, improving its overall record to 37-11. The Red extended its winning streak to 13 games.

The Red jumped out to an early lead in Game 1 off of a two-out RBI single by junior Erin Kizer in the second inning. Quinnipiac responded in the top of the third with a solo shot from Nicole Otten to tie the game at one. Not to be outdone, senior Lauren May hit a solo home run of her own in the bottom of the third to put the Red back up, 2-1. May leads the Ivy League with 15 home runs. Head coach Dick Blood felt his team looked solid at the plate in its handling of Quinnipiac’s pitcher Kim Norman.

“[Norman] wasn’t overpowering. She had a decent little curve ball and a changeup but she threw some strikes,” he said. “We put the ball in play and we put it in play with authority and got us a nice little early lead.”

Sophomore Caitlin Warren added to the Red’s cushion in the fifth inning, hitting a three-run homer to put the Red up 5-1. Quinnipiac got two runs back in the sixth inning, but senior Sarah Sterman shut down the rally and closed out the game for her 19th win.

“She threw very well,” Blood said. “She made a couple of mistakes on balls, but for the most part threw really well and finished up really strong.”

Cornell found itself in a two-run hole in Game 2, as the Bobcats put runs on the board in the third and fifth innings, both with two-out rallies. Cornell answered with two of its own runs in the fifth inning, tying the game on a suicide squeeze by Warren to score senior Kate Varde.

Cornell’s 12-game winning streak looked like it might come to an end when Quinnipiac took a 3-2 lead in the top of the seventh. However, senior Melissa Cannon tied the game with a single to score Varde and then Quinnipiac loaded the bases for Alvarez to hit her walk-off grand slam.

Cornell’s bats have been red hot over its 13-game winning streak, as the Red has outscored opponents, 67-23.

“I think now that the kids are up around 130 and 140 at-bats, they’re starting to get more comfortable at the plate,” Blood said.

Cornell will finish up its regular season with games against Siena on Tuesday and Binghamton on Wednesday. The Red will then play a best of three-game series against Brown on Saturday, as the Bears grabbed a share of the Ivy title by sweeping their doubleheader against Yale this past weekend.

Archived article by Paul Testa
Sun Staff Writer