March 27, 2006

Softball Posts Seven Wins at Two Tourneys

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While the majority of Cornell’s student body was either home or soaking up the sun on some tropical island, the Red softball team was busy cramming in two tournaments and 15 games into its busy Spring Break itinerary. Despite the hectic schedule, the women held their own and finished with a 7-8 record, good enough to hover around .500 – as they have done all season so far.

Cornell kicked off its Spring Break by traveling to Deland, Fla., to compete in the Stetson Invitational. The team went 1-2 on the first day of the competition, winning its first game against Boston University, 3-2, but later falling to Georgia Southern, 8-2, and once again to Boston University, 5-0.

In the first game, after trailing throughout the contest, Cornell mustered a dramatic, three-run seventh-inning comeback to capture the victory. With the bases loaded and the game tied, sophomore Jenna Campagnolo stroked a groundball to the Boston third basemen, who promptly got the force at home. However, the Terriers tried to convert the double play at first, but mishandled the throw and allowed pinch runner Jaimee Lockwood to score the game winning run.

All three Red pitchers were effective in the win, with senior co-captain Whitney Smith allowing only one run in 3 1/3 innings, sophomore Jenn Meunier also giving up one run in 2 1/3 innings, and freshman Haley Mirrer pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings to pick up the victory.

The Red had no such luck with a strong Georgia Southern team, who dominated Cornell from start to finish en route to an 8-2 win. Senior co-captain Caitlin Warren and freshman Nicole Cheever each had an RBI single for Cornell, and Meunier look the loss on the mound, allowing four runs and six hits over four innings of work.

In Game 3, Cornell took on Boston University for the second time that day. The Terriers seemed to get the best of the team the second time around, shutting out the Red, 5-0, behind a complete game shutout from Brittany Detwiler.

In the second day of the competition, Cornell was swept by the host team Stetson, 8-0 and 5-0. In the first game the team seemed to be overmatched as Stetson pitcher Heather Colding cruised to a two hit, five inning shut-out in a game that was shortened due to mercy rule. Meunier took the loss for the Red, going the distance while giving up eight runs and 11 hits.

Game 2 did not prove to be any easier, as once again the women were blanked by Stetson pitchers, 5-0. Smith started and took the loss for Cornell, pitching 4 1/3 innings and allowing four runs and five hits, while Mirrer allowed one run in 1 2/3 innings of relief.

After a rough start to the Spring Break schedule, Cornell was looking to rebound as it headed to Kissimmee, Fla., for the Rebel Games.

Behind the young, talented arm of Mirrer, Cornell did just that on the first day of competition, downing Hartford, 2-1. Mirrer showed the potential that head coach Dick Blood raves about, pitching a complete game while giving up only one run on four hits and striking out 10 Hartford batters.

On offense, freshman Meghan Risica provided the game-winning run in the bottom of the fourth with a solo shot, her second home run on the year.

In Game 2, Cornell’s bats came alive as the team trounced Wisconsin-Green Bay, 12-7. Cornell’s lead was never in doubt after sending nine women to the plate in the top of the first inning, scoring six of them. Leading the way for the Red on offense was junior Lauren Battaglia, who launched two home runs in the game. Meunier took the win for the Red after pitching four innings; Smith pitched three innings of relief and gave up only two runs.

Cornell continued its winning ways on Day 2 of the Rebel games, once again beating Hartford in dramatic fashion. Trailing by one run going into the bottom half of the last frame, the Red loaded the bases with no outs as Warren stepped to the plate.

The senior co-captain responded to the situation by launching a towering shot to straight away center field, clearing the bases and earning Cornell its third straight victory with a walk-off grand slam.

Whitney Smith paced the Red on the mound, striking out 10 Hartford batters while allowing only four runs on five hits while going the distance.

Eager to climb to .500 for the first time since the beginning of Spring Break, Cornell faced Ohio in the second game on the day.

In this contest, however, nothing seemed to go Cornell’s way as Ohio cruised to a 7-0 victory.

Sophomore Ashley Wolf and Risica had two hits apiece, but the Red offense was unable to get a run across. Mirrer took the loss for the Red, pitching two innings and giving up four runs on three hits.

On the third day of the Rebel games, Cornell once again split its two contests, this time losing to Vermont, 3-1, and getting revenge on Ohio, 5-1.

In the first game against Vermont, the Red was able to manage very little offense, as junior Erin Murtha had the lone RBI on the day.

Smith went six innings in the loss, giving up all three Vermont runs while striking out seven.

In the second game against Ohio, Cornell once again pulled within one game of .500 as the offense – which was streaky all tournament long – scored five runs en route to a 5-1 win, avenging the previous day’s loss.

On offense, Cheever hit her first career home run and Wolf, Warren, Risica and Campagnolo each stroked a double in the contest.

Meunier pitched a complete game for Cornell, allowing five hits while giving up only one run.

The next day the team finally reached the .500 mark as it beat Wisconsin-Green Bay, 3-1, in its first game. Campagnolo’s sixth inning two-RBI double paced the women on offense, and Smith took care of the rest, allowing only one run in her 5 1/3 innings of work to get the win.

In Game 2 Cornell fell to Hartford for the second time at the Rebel Games, 8-3. All three of the Red’s errors hurt them, ultimately costing it the contest.

In the final day of the Rebel Games, Cornell once again split its two games, losing to Vermont, 1-0, while shutting out Wisconsin-Green Bay, 4-0.

In Game 1 Mirrer took the tough-luck loss, allowing only one run while striking out six Vermont hitters.

In the final game of its busy Spring Break schedule, the Red pulled within one game of .500 when it took down Wisconsin-Green Bay one last time. Sophomore Samantha Hare singled, tripled and scored two runs to lead the Red attack.

Archived article by Lance Williams
Sun Staff Writer