Despite the vanishing sun and drizzling rain, the Cornell softball team (20-16, 5-3 Ivy) made the short trip up Route 81 to take on Syracuse (23-14) in what was scheduled to be a midweek doubleheader. While the inclement weather got the best of both teams and caused game two to be cancelled, senior co-captain Lauren May got the best of the Orange by driving in six runs on two homeruns in the Red’s 6-5 win.
“May had a really wonderful day at the plate,” said Cornell head coach Dick Blood. “She really made the difference.”
Much as in the teams’ last meeting, the Orange jumped all over the Red in the early innings. Junior Alexis Switenko and sophomores Courtney Mosch and Erin Grey each had an RBI off Cornell starter, freshman Jenn Meunier, to put the Orange up 3-0 after the first.
“Meunier came out a little tentatively and they were hitting line-drives all over the place [in the first inning],” Blood said. “After that though, she got much more aggressive and was very strong.”
The Orange threatened again in the third by loading the bases, but Syracuse sophomore Jennifer Elderbroom grounded out to strand all three runners.
After this point, however, the game was all May’s.
In the top of the fourth, freshman Ashley Wolf drew a lead-off walk and May wasted no time driving her in by putting the next pitch over the fence for her 10th homer of the year.
The Orange answered back with some star-power of its own in the bottom of the inning as Big East Player of the Week Cassie Morales hit a solo homer to give Syracuse a two-run cushion.
The next inning started out innocently enough as Cornell freshman Samantha Hare reached base on a bunt single and then moved over to second when classmate Jenna Campagnolo walked. Wolf continued the Red’s tough-nosed play by beating out an infield single to load the bases for May.
“There were two outs at that point,” Blood said. “If [Wolf] doesn’t beat that out, there is a good chance we don’t win the game.”
With nowhere to put May, Syracuse pitcher Erin Downey fell behind in the count 2-0 and May made her pay the price in a big way, taking the next pitch out of the park for a grand slam.
While May’s second homer put the Red on top, it could not take all the fight out of the Orange, which pulled to within one run on a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the seventh. The hit put runners on second and third. But, Meunier got the next hitter to line out to Hare to end the game.
Meunier earned the win and moved her record to 12-4 on the year and May finished 3-3, raising her league-leading average to .469.
“We played with passion today,” Blood said. “It was really an exciting win.”
Archived article by Matt Gorman
Sun Staff Writer