March 14, 2005

Softball Takes Two Games

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After Cornell struggled a weekend ago, going 1-3 at the Patriot Classic, it bounced back this past weekend, winning two out of three games on the road.

The Red (3-4) began the road trip with what was scheduled to be a doubleheader against Drexel on Saturday afternoon. Instead, the second game was cancelled due to poor field conditions and the Red was only afforded one shot at the Dragons. The opportunity did not go to waste and the Red emerged from the contest as 4-1 victors.

Freshman Jenna Campagnolo played the starring role for the Red, as her first career homerun and three RBI powered the team.

“[Campagnolo] played some good, solid softball and really provided us with a little bit of spark,” said Cornell head coach Dick Blood.

While Campagnolo did most of the damage for the Red, freshman Ashley Wolf put Cornell on the board first with an RBI double in the first inning.

Not to be outdone, the Dragons evened the score that same inning with a two-out RBI off junior pitcher Whitney Smith. In the following inning, Campagnolo put the Red right back on top with an RBI single that would prove to be the game-winning run. Campagnolo was not done, however, as her two-run homer in the top half of the seventh inning provided Smith with a three-run cushion heading into the Dragons’ last turn at the plate. Smith held the Dragons scoreless for the game’s last six innings, striking out five and walking one on her way to a complete-game victory.

The Red was back on the field yesterday for a doubleheader against Delaware.

In the day’s first game, the Red received contributions from multiple sources on its way to a hard-fought 4-3 victory.

Cornell freshman pitcher Jenn Meunier entered the first game in the sixth inning with her team clinging to a one-run lead, and the potential tying run on third base.

In only her fourth career appearance, Meunier went on to retire the batter and end the inning, shutting the door on the Blue Hens’ comeback attempt and helping the Red to victory.

“I’m really proud of our [freshman] pitchers,” Blood said. “[Meunier] was brilliant and [Jen] Lesczinski also pitched some really solid innings.”

Earlier in the game, Cornell senior Erin Kizer staked Lesczinski, the Red’s starting pitcher, to an early two-run lead with an RBI single in the first inning.

“That hit really got us started off,” Blood said. “It may have been the biggest hit of the game.” The Red continued to put runs on the board in the second inning as Campagnolo recorded her fourth RBI of the weekend with a run-scoring triple. Sophomore Lauren Battaglia capped off the Red’s scoring with a bases-loaded two-out single in the fifth inning that put the Red up, 4-0. Lesczinski did her part on the mound, holding the Blue Hens scoreless through 5 2/3 innings until the opposition erupted for three runs in the sixth inning. Meunier then ended the Blue Hens’ rally and recorded two strikeouts in the final inning to earn her first career save. It was also Lesczinski’s first career win.

“We need to get all those freshman quality innings and at-bats,” Blood said. “The more they play, the more confidence they are gaining.”

In the weekend’s final game, the Red could not replicate its success against the Blue Hens, and were defeated, 5-0.

Wolf was the only batter to record multiple hits, going 2-for-3 with a double, and Meunier once again provided a bright spot by pitching 4 2/3 scoreless innings of relief. Smith took the loss for the Red.

“We fell in the hole early and at that point, it’s tough to get things going,” Blood said. “We just couldn’t string anything together.”

Archived article by Matt Gorman
Sun Staff Writer