April 6, 2005

Softball Splits With Canisius; Kizer Blasts Grand Slam

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After a hard-fought 5-4 loss in the opening game, the softball team came storming back to rout Canisius, 9-1, in the second contest of the day and get momentum on its side heading into the first weekend of the Ivy schedule.

The Griffins (4-8) kept the Red’s (14-11) bats quiet in the first two and a half innings while building a 5-0 lead, capped by a three-run homer over the left field wall from the Griffins’ Jess Martin. Cornell answered in the bottom of the third, when senior co-captain Lauren May led off with a double. Sophomore first baseman Erin Murtha added an RBI single and sophomore designated player Beth Price cut the lead to two with a two-RBI single.

“They got up first, but we hung in there,” said senior co-captain Erin Kizer. “We had a few bad breaks. It was a tough game — we fought hard.”

May brought the Red within one with a homer that sailed over the scoreboard in left field in the bottom of the sixth inning. But Griffins reliever Courtney Piar only gave up one other hit in two innings of relief work to preserve the win. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh, Piar struck out freshman Ashley Wolf with to finish the game.

Andrea Bunten pitched five innings for Canisius, giving up three runs and earning nine strikeouts. Freshman Jen Lesczinski went the distance in a losing effort, pitching a complete game and giving up seven hits.

Yesterday’s action played out in a similar fashion to the Red’s doubleheader against Siena last Friday, when Cornell lost the first game and then regrouped to win the second contest. Kizer said that the team’s ability to step onto the field focused and ready to go from the start was a key factor in both doubleheaders.

“We did a little better job today, but we can still do better,” she said.

The Red had no trouble staying focused in the second game against Canisius, racing to a 5-1 lead in the first inning en route to a 9-1 victory in six innings.

“I think we definitely wanted to get back at it,” Kizer said. “We were still riding on the end of the first game and really wanted to turn it around.”

The Griffins scored one run in the top half of the first inning, and that was all they would get.

Freshman Jenna Campagnolo — this week’s Ivy League rookie of the week — started the show with a single. May was walked, putting Campagnolo in position to score off junior third baseman Caitlin Warren’s double. Griffins pitcher Lindsay Garbacz walked Murtha next to load the bases and set the stage for Kizer, who smacked a grand slam to deep center field to put the Red up, 5-1.

“The runners in front of me did a great job getting on, and I was just trying to get a hit,” Kizer said.

Freshman Jenn Meunier kept the Griffins out of scoring position for the rest of the game, giving up only three hits after the first inning. Meunier is now 8-2 this season.

Warren added another RBI with a single in the second inning to push the lead to five. Cornell sophomore Sarah Ruben grounded to Amanda Luukinen in the fifth inning, but Luukinen’s throw to home to force the out was misplayed by Martin, allowing two more Red players to cross the plate. May ended the game with her second solo homer of the day, hitting to right center field.

“We played better defense today, definitely, than against Siena,” Kizer said. “That’s definitely a positive and hopefully it will hold up going into this weekend.”

Warren went 4-for-6 in the two games with two RBI. May hit the same, finishing with two homers and scoring four runs. Kizer added a 3-for-5 performance, highlighted by her grand slam in the second game.

Archived article by Olivia Dwyer
Sun Assistant Sports Editor