March 13, 2006

Softball Wins Three, Loses Three at Mason Dixon Classic

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The softball team experienced mixed results this weekend, splitting six games against a wide variety of teams at the Mason Dixon Classic in Virginia Beach, Va.

Coming into the weekend on the heels of two decisive victories against Niagara and George Mason, the Red continued its winning ways with an 8-0 victory against Norfolk State on the first day of the Classic – extending its win streak to three games.

Senior co-captain Whitney Smith paced Cornell on the mound, dominating the Spartans on her way to a complete game one-hitter, picking up her first victory on the year.

The Red was led at the plate by fellow senior co-captain Caitlin Warren, who went 2-for-3 with a double, a home run and three RBIs.

Sophomore standouts Ashley Wolf and Samantha Hare also made key offensive contributions for the Red. Wolf went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a stolen base, while Hare added one hit and two RBIs.

The Red lead was never in doubt as Norfolk State collected its sole hit in the first inning and never advanced a runner past second base throughout the rest of the contest.

However, Cornell followed up its most impressive victory of the year later that day with a 1-0 heartbreak loss to Delaware.

Sophomore Jenn Meunier did her best to match Smith’s performance, going the distance while allowing only two hits, one walk and striking out six Blue Hens.

The lone run in the game was scored in the fourth inning, after two critical Red fielding errors.

Despite its mistakes, the team was still well within striking distance in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Red started off the frame with singles from junior Erin Murtha and Warren, and after a failed sacrifice bunt attempt to record the first out, freshman Meghan Risica loaded the bases with a walk.

The Delaware pitching staff bore down, however, striking out juniors Lauren Battaglia and Sarah Ruben to end the threat and the game.

Looking to avenge its first loss in four games, Cornell took on a strong Maryland team the following day. The Red was unsuccessful, however, as the Terrapins dominated the contest from start to finish on their way to an 8-0 route.

Freshman pitcher Haley Mirrer took the loss for the team, pitching six innings while giving up eight runs on 11 hits and three walks. The loss dropped Mirrer’s record to 1-1 on the year.

The Red also faltered in game two on Saturday, as it was beaten by James Madison 6-4. Meunier took the loss for the Red, pitching just 2 1/3 innings and allowing six runs and a walk. Poor defense continued to plague Cornell as well, as the team committed five fielding errors on the game, all with Meunier on the mound. Although Smith came on to pitch 3 2/3 scoreless innings in relief, the damage was already done.

Warren and Hare continued to rake at the plate for Cornell, combining for four hits, three RBIs and one run scored. Risica also added two hits and three RBIs.

After dropping three straight to fall to 3-5 on the season, the softball team swept the final two games of the Mason Dixon Classic – winning by a combined 14 runs – to claw back to .500.

In the first game on the day, Cornell topped Niagara, 6-1, behind sensational pitching from Meunier. Avenging the previous day’s loss, Meunier tossed six innings and allowed no runs, while allowing only three hits and striking out four Purple Eagle hitters.

Leading the way for the Red was sophomore Jenna Campagnolo, who went 2-for-3 with three RBIs on the game. Mirrer also was instrumental in the victory, tossing one inning of scoreless relief while also adding a double and two RBIs at the plate.

Playing in its sixth game in three days, fatigue appeared not to be a factor for the team as it trounced host George Mason, 10-1, in the final game of the Classic. Smith topped off a fantastic weekend by going to distance for Cornell, allowing only one run on four hits while striking out five batters. For the season, Smith has allowed only one run in 21 2/3 innings of work.

Furthermore, Campagnolo continued her hot hitting for the Red, finishing the game with three hits, a home run and five RBI. Battaglia also played a pivotal role on offense, herself driving in five runs to go along with her first career home run.

Archived article by Lance Williams
Sun Staff Writer