By March 17, 2006
The softball team will follow the migration of Cornell students south this Spring Break, but rather than taking flight to Mexico or the Caribbean, the Red is headed for Deland, Fla., to play in the Stetson Invitational, and and will then travel to Kissimmee, Fla., to compete in the Rebel Games. Head coach Dick Blood and the Red will have their hands full as they face off against stiff competition in games against Hartford, Wisconsin-Green Bay, Ohio, and Vermont during the two tournaments.
The Red will start off its Florida road trip at .500 with a 5-5 record. Cornell is looking to extend its two-game win streak during the tour in Florida.
At the Rebel Games, the Red will first see Hartford this coming Monday. The Rebel Games will be Hartford’s first action of the 2006 season, after a 2005 campaign in which the Hawks finished 17-18 2005.
That afternoon, Cornell will take on the Wisconsin-Green Bay. The Phoenix had a Cinderella season in 2005 – beginning the year picked as the preseason favorite to finish last place in the Horizon League and ending the year winning the conference tournament. However, Wisconsin-Green Bay is lacking six members from that title squad, as graduation took its toll on the roster.
On Tuesday, the Red will see Hartford for a second game, followed by Ohio later in the day. Ohio is coming into the tournament with plenty of experience under its belts, having earned a 9-9 mark in the preseason, with wins over Bucknell, Army, and UNC-Greensboro. Senior Emily Futscher is leading the Bobcats with 13 RBIs and will be an offensive threat to Cornell’s pitching staff.
The Red will continue play throughout the week, going up against Vermont in its first contest on Wednesday. The Catamounts have a 4-6 record thus far in 2006, and are led by pitcher Alison Daggett, who has a 1.15 ERA. Cornell will have a second shot at Ohio in the afternoon game that day.
Rematches will continue for the rest of the week, as the Red will run into Wisconsin-Green Bay and Hartford on Thursday, and Vermont and the Phoenix once again to cap off the Spring Break tour on Friday.
Blood will lead the squad into these two tournaments on the hot arms of senior captain Whitney Smith, sophomore Jenn Meunier, and freshman sensation Haley Mirrer. Senior captain Caitlin Warren, sophomore Andrea Forrest, and freshman slugger Meghan Risica have paced Cornell at the plate in the first 10 games.
Archived article by Lance PolivySun Staff Writer
By March 17, 2006
The men’s and women’s track teams will be spending their Spring Break in sunny southern California to train and compete in the Long Beach and Spring Break Invitationals, as well as have a little fun. Twenty-seven members of each squad will make the trip.
“This trip really has a dual purpose – but it is primarily a training trip to get the season off to a good start,” said women’s assistant coach Artie Smith ’96.
The trip will give both teams a jump start on the outdoor season, as several new events will be added to their weekly repertoire. Athletes specializing in these events have not had the opportunity to compete in them during the indoor season.
“It will be tough because we add in the events not contested indoors, but everyone is very eager to get going,” men’s head coach Nathan Taylor said.
The week will also feature competition with teams the Red does not generally see during the rest of the season. At the Spring Break Invitational at UC-Irvine, the Red expects to face some of the best track programs in the country – including Oregon, Michigan and Arkansas.
“In general there is pretty good competition at these meets,” Taylor said.
Both teams look forward to showcasing the men and women in the new outdoor events.
On the men’s side, senior Greg Simonds, sophomore Aaron Merril and junior Kolby Hoover will make their season debut in the 400-meter hurdles. Junior Brad Baird will compete in the steeplechase for the first time since last season, while freshman Jordan Banniga and sophomore Frank Fetteroff will throw the javelin. Banniga and Fetteroff have been training for this competitive debut since August.
On the women’s side, juniors Toni-Lynn Salucci and Robyn Ellerbrook will compete in the steeplechase. Freshman Maria Matos and sophomore Crystal Thomas will get to shine in their specialty event, the discus, and fellow thrower freshman Erin Folger will make her collegiate debut in the javelin. Junior Christina Cossel, who made tremendous strides in the 400 meters during the indoor season, will combine her speed with her hurdling technique in the 400 hurdles.
Both the men and women have fared well at the California invitationals in the past, and hope to continue this year.
“We have a very deep team, as deep a group as we have ever had,” Smith said. “We just expect [the girls] to work hard and appreciate the opportunity that we are giving them.”
Taylor has high hopes for his team as well, even though they are coming off of a very serious base training, so some of their performances may be somewhat subdued and less crisp than they will be later in the season.
“I am hoping to keep every kid on the team moving forward,” Taylor said. “I just want the kids to do well.”
Archived article by Erin GarrySun Staff Writer