April 20, 2006

Softball Drops Two to Strong Syracuse Squad

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After winning four of its last five games, the softball team returned to its inconsistent ways against a strong Syracuse team yesterday at Niemand-Robison Field. The Orange (29-16, 11-3 Big East) dominated the Red (21-20, 6-2 Ivy), taking both games of the doubleheader.

“Obviously we know they have better hitters, more hitters that are over .300. But we always have the attitude that we can go out there and beat whoever we are playing. You have to have that attitude,” sophomore pitcher Jenn Meunier said.

On this day, however, the Red may have been overmatched. The Orange took the first game 6-2, and followed up it up with a 6-1 victory in the second game. With the victories, the Orange set a new team record for wins, breaking its previous mark of 28, set in 2005.

In the first game, Syracuse sophomore Erin Downey (18-13) dominated the Red, striking out six while pitching a complete game, her 18th of the season. Meunier (11-8), who had been named Ivy League pitcher of the week on Tuesday, was chased after just four innings. She allowed four runs on seven hits while striking out three. Senior Whitney Smith relieved Meunier, and allowed two runs down the stretch.

“I take it one pitch at a time, and try not to think about how overwhelming they are. I try to keep my pitches my down and on the corners, so they can’t hit it out,” Meunier said.

Syracuse took a 1-0 lead in the second on senior Cassie Morales’s eighth home run of the season. Morales had three hits in the game. The Red pitching was powerless against the dynamic Orange attack, allowing every batter in the Syracuse lineup to record at least one hit – 15 in all.

Freshman Meghan Risica led the way on offense for the Red, going 3-3 with a home run. Risica, who scored both of Cornell’s runs, also accounted for half of the Red hits in the game. Syracuse scored two more in the third, and never looked back, going on to win 6-2. Freshman Tonye McCorke, who was 6-8 on the whole day, and senior Alexis Switenko, who was 2-4, both had big games for the Orange.

In Game 2, it was more of the same, as the Red was no match for Syracuse. The Orange came out of the gate firing, loading the bases in the first and scoring three runs before the Red even came up to bat. Switenko (11-2), who had a two-run single in the first, pitched a gem for the Orange. The senior went the distance, allowing just one run that was unearned while striking out six. Switenko has been having a phenomenal season for the Orange, dominating both at the plate and as a pitcher. Switenko was 2-for-4 and added three RBIs at the plate for the Orange, helping her own cause.

Freshman Hailey Mirrer (6-6) did not have much luck for the Red, allowing five runs (four earned) in five innings pitched. Meunier pitched two innings of relief work, allowing one run. The Red offense had its chances, as it amassed eight hits, but was able to score just one run. Freshman Nicole Cheever singled home Risica in the fourth. Syrcause freshman Heather Kim continued her fantastic season, clubbing her fourth home run of the season.

The lone bright spot of the day for the Red was the fantastic play of standout Risica, who went 4-for-6 in the series, including her home run. She scored all three runs for the Red.

“Our freshmen, including Meg, have been doing amazingly. She has been hitting the ball everywhere, very well,” Meunier said.

The Red will look to turn things around this weekend, as it continues its quest for an Ivy title this weekend with road sets at Brown and Yale.

Archived article by Jeremy Drucker
Sun Staff Writer