April 17, 2006

Softball Keeps Pace, Wins Three

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The softball team won three of its four games this weekend on its Ivy League road trip to Penn and Princeton. On Saturday the Red swept Penn, winning 6-2 and 10-2. Yesterday Cornell split its games with Princeton, dropping Game 1, 6-1, then rallying with a 3-2 victory in Game 2, handing the Tigers their first conference loss of the season.

Cornell improved to 21-18 on the year with a 6-2 record in games played against opponents from the Ancient Eight.

The win in Game 2 of the Princeton set was crucial victory for the Red, since it leaves the Red only two games behind the Tigers for first place in the Ivy League.

The story on Saturday was the starting pitching for the Red. Sophomore Jenn Meunier and freshman Haley Mirrer both threw complete-game gems. They each let in just two runs and they set the tone for the Red batters, who were out in force. There were three Red home runs in the two games, including dingers from the freshmen sluggers Jessica Berkey and Nicole Cheever and senior captain Caitlin Warren.

Warren’s home run was a grand slam, her second of the season. It was the centerpiece of a 7-run sixth inning during the backside of the doubleheader.

The games at Princeton were hard-fought battles, as the two squads duked it out with key positioning for the Ivy League crown on the line.

The Red knew heading into the weekend that it would face a tough match up in Game 1. Starting on the mound for the Tigers was their ace, senior Erin Snyder, who has won the award for Ivy League Pitcher of the Week three times so far this season. Entering the game, she was 4-0 with a 0.00 ERA in Ivy League play. Snyder was able to hold the dynamic Red offense to only one run, watching her overall ERA for the season rise to 0.89.

Game 2 was a pitchers’ dual between Cornell’s Meunier and Princeton’s Kristen Schaus. Withtwo outs in the third inning, Erin Murtha hit an RBI single, knocking in two runs to put the Red on top of the Tigers, 2-1. It was the first time that the Tigers had trailed in a home game so far this season. But the Tigers fired right back, tying the game in the bottom of the third with an RBI single from senior Amanda Erickson. The Tigers kept the rally alive, loading the bases after Meunier hit freshman Samantha O’Hara with a pitch. Then Princeton head coach Maureen Barron went to her bench for experience and sent senior Lindsay Motal in for a clutch pinch-hitting appearance. Motal worked Meunier to a full count, before the Cornell hurler threw a strike to retire the batter and keep the game tied at 2-2.

Neither team scored again until the sixth inning, when freshman Jessica Berkey hit her second home run of the weekend to put the Red on top 3-2. Meunier shut down the Tigers in the last two innings and helped the Red hold onto its 3-2 lead.

Cornell plays next on Wednesday afternoon, when the Red will take on the Syracuse Orangemen in a home double header at Nieman-Robison Field.

Archived article by Lance Polivy
Sun Staff Writer