May 1, 2006

Cornell Sweeps Columbia

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While Princeton may have already wrapped up the Ivy League title, don’t tell that to the softball team. The Red (28-23, 11-3 Ivy) wrapped up its Ivy campaign over the weekend with a two-game sweep of Columbia (22-25, 4-8) on Saturday, before splitting a non-conference pair with Fairleigh-Dickinson (10-41, 5-14 NEC) on Sunday.

The Red, who had clinched a second-place Ivy finish heading into the weekend, will finish the season just 1.0 games back of Princeton in the Ivy League standings. Rolling into New York City for a road set with Columbia, the Red took advantage of fantastic pitching and just enough offense to secure the sweep, winning 3-1 and 2-1.

In Game 1, Columbia struck first, picking up one run on an RBI-single courtesy of senior Hilary Parsons in the bottom of the fourth. The Red, however, was quick to respond. Senior co-captain Caitlin Warren kicked off a three-run fifth with a lead-off solo shot. Freshman Jessica Berkey reached base on an error and junior Sarah Ruben brought her home with an RBI single. Sophomore Jenna Campagnolo knocked Ruben in with another RBI single. This would be all the offense generated in this game, as Columbia senior Jackie Adelfio and Cornell sophomore Jenn Meunier both pitched brilliantly.

Meunier allowed nine hits and struck out nine while going the distance for the 15th time this year. In the second game, it was freshman Haley Mirrer’s turn to shine. Mirrer pitched her own complete game, scattering eight hits and striking out four to lead the Red to a 2-1 win. The Red scored two runs in the first inning of Game 2 on a freshman Meghan Risica’s seventh home run of the season and held on for the victory.

After a successful day against Columbia, the Red arrived in Hackensack, N.J., and got ready to play a Fairleigh-Dickinson team that had been outscored 290-120 on the season. Indeed, in Game 1, the Red routed the Knights 11-2. With a 2-0 lead in the fourth, Cornell blew the game wide open with a six-run inning. The Knights answered with a pair in the fifth, but simply could not match the Red’s firepower. Warren and junior Erin Murtha both slugged home runs in the contest. Senior Whitney Smith (5-7) went the distance for the Red, striking out five en route to the win.

In the second game, however, the Red offense struggled mightily, recording just four hits in the 3-0 loss. While Meunier was solid in the losing cause, the Red defense committed three errors. Cornell had no answer for sophomore Ashley Buchanan, who went the distance while shutting out the Red.

The Red returns to action on Wednesday with a doubleheader at Binghamton.

Archived article by Jeremy Drucker
Sun Staff Writer