When the Red (19-16, 5-3 Ivy) and the Orange (23-13, 8-2 Big East) clashed in the softball team’s season opener on March 5, Syracuse came away with a 2-0 victory and Courtney Mosch threw the first seven-inning no-hitter in school history. Cornell will try to turn the tables in Syracuse today when the teams meet for the third time this season.
“They are a really good team this year,” senior co-captain Erin Kizer said. “We’ll definintely have our hands full. We played really well this weekend and hopefully we’ll maintain that during this week.”
The two teams have both honed their winning ways on the softball diamond recently, with Cornell winning three of its last four games and Syracuse going 7-1 in the past week of action. The Orange split a doubleheader at Fordham on Sunday, while the Red swept Yale and took one game from Brown this weekend.
“One of the big things [this weekend] was that we didn’t let anyone score in the beginning of the game,” Kizer said. “We played really good defense and the pitchers played really well. It was really important that we didn’t start out behind.”
The Red will face plenty of challenges this afternoon, both on the defensive and offensive sides of the game. The Orange is led by Tiffany Robinson’s .347 batting averaged, but gets substantial support from the rest of the batting order — three players have knocked in at least 20 runs this season, and six more have a minimum of 13 RBIs.
Syracuse currently sits in third place in the Big East standings, and has been making a run at the top spot in recent weeks. Cassie Morales was named the Big East player of the week last week after hitting .393 with three doubles, two homers, and 11 RBIs. Shawna Morris is another threat for the Orange, and was the Big East player of the week the week before Morales earned the honor. Morris was recognized for a stretch in which the Orange went 4-2 and she hit .500, with one home run, five RBIs, and a .786 slugging percentage.
“Our pitchers did really well this weekend,” Kizer said. “They need to keep it up, keep hitting spots and maintaining that.”
Hosch and Erin Downey have been the go-to players on the mound for the Orange. Hosch stands at 9-8 on the year, with a 1.54 ERA, while Downey has a 13-5 record with a 1.55 ERA.
“[Horsch has] been pitching well all year,” Kizer said. “[In Cornell’s loss to Syracuse] part of it was that it was the first game of the year … hopefully we’re a little better prepared.”
The Red has been up and down this year, posting a 6-6 record in the past two weeks. However, the team has finally got momentum on it’s side after its first winning weekend of Ivy play.
Senior co-captain Lauren May leads the team with a .453 batting average, 24 RBIs, and nine homers. Classmate and co-captain Erin Kizer has also come up big for the Red with 24 RBIs of her own, as well as hitting a game-winning home run in the first game against Yale this Sunday. Five other players have at least 10 RBIs for the Red.
Rookie Jen Meunier is making a name for herself on the mound, throwing her way to an 11-4 record and a 2.33 record. Junior Whitney Smith has also seen substantial time in the circle for the Red, posting a 6-8 record and a 3.15 ERA.
Archived article by Olivia Dwyer
Sun Assistant Sports Editor