April 27, 2005

Red Takes On Cross-Town Rival

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After a long weekend of traveling and postponed games, the softball team will return home to Niedman-Robison Field to take on cross-town rival Ithaca in a doubleheader this afternoon.

“It’s definitely nice to play at home [today],” said senior co-captain Erin Kizer. “That’ll be good. We kind of took the day off [yesterday] to recoup.”

The Red was scheduled for two doubleheaders this past weekend, against Dartmouth and Harvard, respectively. Due to inclement weather, the games were stretched out over three days, putting the Red’s endurance to the test.

And although today’s games — against a Division III team — might suggest a respite from the tough competition of the Ivy League, the Red is not expecting a day off.

“[Ithaca has] done really well in the past,” Kizer said. “They’re still really competitive, it’s still a really good game for us.”

While Cornell has built a wave of winning momentum — going 5-0 in the past week of play — the Bombers have also been hot lately, winning six of their last seven games. Both teams are in similar positions in their respective leagues, with Cornell sitting in second place in the Ivy League, two games behind Princeton, and Ithaca still in the running for the regular-season Empire 8 league championship.

“Both teams have been playing well and playing with confidence,” Kizer said. “It should make it a good game.”

In the Bombers’ 12-0 win against RIT on April 19, freshman Carly Myers threw a complete-game one-hitter. The offense was led by Leigh Bonkowski, who hit a double and her eighth home run of the year. Bonkowski, junior infielder Kaitlyn Dulac and sophomore outfielder Mel Chinigo each contributed two hits and two runs scored for the victory.

Ithaca has made 19 appearance in the Division III NCAA national championship tournament, and won the title in 2002.

But the Red will not be helpless on the field today. After the team swept both Ivy doubleheaders this weekend to move up in league standings, senior co-captain Lauren May was named the Ivy League Player of the Week, while freshmen pitcher Jenn Meunier was awarded Co-Rookie of the Week honors. May hit .600 in last week’s games, notching three home runs and 12 RBIs. Altogether, May is hitting .473 this season, with 36 RBIs, 12 home runs, and 10 doubles. Meunier is now 14-4 in her rookie campaign after pitching three complete victories and earning her second career save in the past week. In Saturday’s game against Dartmouth, she threw a two-hitter for the victory. She leads the Red’s pitching corps with 2.32 ERA this year.

Junior Whitney Smith also made the Ivy League honor roll this week for her work on the mound over the weekend. She struck out 12 in 11 innings of work, and allowed only two hits by the Green on Sunday.

“We had really good defense and we had some really good clutch hitting [this weekend],” Kizer said. “We just need to keep it up.”

Archived article by Olivia Dwyer
Sun Assistant Sports Editor