The softball team (24-21, 9-3 Ivy) will run off to the other side of town this afternoon to play a pair of games with South Hill rival Ithaca College (30-2, 12-0 Empire 8). The Red is coming off a solid weekend of Ivy League play in which it split its doubleheader at Brown on Saturday and then had to wait out the rain in New Haven, Conn., on Sunday. But on Monday the Red took the field and swept the Bulldogs on their home turf.
Unfortunately the Red effort was all for naught, as Princeton split with Harvard on Saturday, then swept Dartmouth on Monday to capture the Ivy League crown with a record of 12-2. The Red is now 9-3 in Ivy League play with a double header still left to play against Columbia on Saturday.
Cornell is running into a very strong Ithaca squad. The Bombers finished with a 12-0 record in the Empire 8 League – the first-ever undefeated season in league history. The Bombers only two losses this season came against regionally ranked opponents, Wartburg and Salisbury. Ithaca is currently ranked No. 3 in the Northeast region of Division III.
The Red is hoping not to have to face the Bombers’ sophomore phenom Carly Meyers who is having an incredible year on the mound for Ithaca. Owning a 14-1 record with a .86 ERA, Meyers has held opposing batters to a .155 batting average.
Ithaca’s Leigh Bonkowski leads the Bomber’s explosive offense which has out batted opponents .360 to .162 this year. Bonkowski leads the team in hits (42), runs (36) and is third on the squad with 31 RBIs.
But with the way Cornell sophomore Jenn Muenier has been pitching, Ithaca might not be scoring many runs either. In Game 1 against Yale this past Sunday, Muenier pitched another complete-game gem. She only let in 2 runs and had 7 strikeouts, to improve to 13-8 on the season with a 2.24 ERA.
As whole, Cornell’s staff has averaged a team ERA of 2.65 this season. With 24 complete games among the Red’s three pitchers, Cornell’s starters have pitched games in more than half of their outings.
Offensively, junior Lauren Bataglia has swung a hot bat for the Red in recent games, going three-for-four in the past Sunday’s doubleheader against Yale.
While the Red has been playing well in recent games, its quest for an Ivy Crown came to an end last weekend, as Princeton split with Harvard on Saturday, then swept Dartmouth on Monday to capture the Ivy League crown with a record of 12-2. The Red will play its final Ivy games of the season in New York this weekend, with a double header against Columbia on Saturday. The race was tight all season long, and Cornell should again challenge Princeton next year, as the core of the Red lineup is comprised of underclassmen.