May 4, 2005

Softball Set to Face Bearcats

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Tomorrow, the softball team will take to Niemand-Robison Field for the last time this season. For senior co-captains Lauren May and Erin Kizer and classmate Alyssa Brune, the Binghamton Bearcats (10-23) will be the last opponent they will face wearing the red and white of Cornell.

“It’s hard to believe,” May said. “We’re looking forward to it. We’re hoping to come out with two wins.”

May leads the team this year with a .484 batting average, 11 doubles, 14 home runs, and 39 RBIs. She’s been an Ivy League Rookie of the Year, the Ancient Eight’s Player of the Year, and last year became the program’s first All-American.

“We’re feeling good, we’re excited to play,” Kizer said. “It should be a good game … We’re excited to finish up the year. We’re looking to finish on a high note.”

Kizer has come into her own this year, boosting her average at the plate to .270 and trails only May in doubles and RBIs, with 9 and 35, respectively. She has hit four homers, including a walk-off in the bottom of the seventh inning against Yale to give the Red a 1-0 victory.

The seniors will leave the East Hill after winning the Ivy League last year and earning the program’s first victory in the NCAA tournament. Although the Red (27-17-1, 10-4 Ivy) could not defend its title this year, the seniors are still satisfied with their final campaign.

“This season we definitely did a lot better than we thought we were going to do,” May said. “We have a very young team and we finished with the same record in the Ivy League as last year.”

The underclassmen have provided crucial support this season. Freshman outfielder Ashley Wolf was just named the Ivy League’s Rookie of the Week after contributing two doubles, three RBIs, and six runs scored while hitting .467 against Ithaca, Quinnipiac, and Columbia. Sophomore Lauren Battaglia also came up big in this stretch, connecting on 8-of-12 appearances at the plate, with two doubles and four RBIs.

The Bearcats are led by Rose Barre, who is hitting .303 and has hit three home runs, five doubles, and driven in 10 runs this season. Nicole Vitello leads Binghamton in RBIs, with 21. The Red will need to be on its toes on defense, as seven players have stolen bases for the Bearcats this year. Jessica Dima is 7-for-8 in steals so far, while Lauren Verrusio is 5-for-6. Katie Hansen is the No. 1 starter for the Bearcats, with a 6-10 record and two shutouts.

“[Binghamton is] a really good team,” Kizer said. “They’ve had an up and down season. We just need to stay focused.”

For the Red, freshman Jenn Meunier and sophomore Whitney Smith will continue to handle duties on the mound.

Meunier leads the team with a 16-4 record and has earned a 2.64 ERA in her rookie season. Smith stands at 9-9 for the year, with a 3.06 ERA.

Archived article by Olivia Dwyer
Sun Assistant Sports Editor