May 3, 2007

Softball Finishes Season With Split

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Although the Red were disappointed by finishing one game out of first place in the Ivy League standings, the softball team still has quite a bit to be proud of from the 2007 season. Cornell finished the season with an overall record of 34-14, which will rank as the best in the Ancient Eight unless Harvard is able to run the table and win the NCAA Championship.
The Red wrapped up their season yesterday with a doubleheader against Binghamton. Cornell prevailed in the first game by a score of 8-6.
After Binghamton scored a run in the first inning, junior Jessica Berkey hit a two-run home run in the second inning to take the lead. The Red then blew the game open with a five-run third inning. Junior Ashley Wolf scored on a sacrifice fly from freshman Alyson Intihar. Then, with two outs, freshman Elise Menaker hit an RBI single, Berkey hit an RBI double, and sophomore Meghan Risica put an exclamation point on the inning with a two-run home run.
The Bearcats stormed back in the top of the fourth inning with five runs of their own. Like Cornell, Binghamton scored four of the runs in their big inning with two outs. The Bearcats came close to doing even more damage, but Mia Bieman, who hit a home run earlier in the inning, grounded out with the bases loaded.
After the rough inning, junior Jenn Meunier regained control on the mound. She did not allow a runner past second base during the remainder of her complete game. With help from senior Sarah Ruben, who gave Cornell an insurance run with an RBI double in the fifth inning, Meunier earned her 19th victory on the season. This marked the highest total by a Red pitcher since Sarah Sterman’s (’04) senior season.
“[Meunier] has been very, very steady for us,” Blood said. “She has been a go-to kid for three years.”
The Red fell just short of finishing their season on a five-game win streak. In the team’s finale, it fell 7-5 to Binghamton. Sophomore Nicole Cheever and two freshmen – Intihar and Devon March – each had RBI for Cornell. Junior Jenna Campagnolo provided the final Red offense of the season with a two-run home run in the seventh inning. Bieman delivered the big blow in the game with a three-run home run in the fourth inning.
“We were a little flat today, but we managed a split and everybody got to play,” said head coach Dick Blood.
The team will focus on improving its condition during the off-season.
“I think we might have run out of gas a little bit at the end of the season. It could have had to do with a lot of travel,” Blood said. “That’s one of the things we’ll work on is our strength and conditioning program.”
The team has a bright future, as Ruben and Lauren Battaglia were the only seniors on the roster. Meunier and sophomore Haley Mirrer will return as the team’s primary pitchers. The fact that nine freshmen contributed this season also bodes well for the Red’s chances next year. The team’s goal is to get over the hump and win the conference after three consecutive seasons of finishing one win short.
“I think we can win an Ivy-League title,” freshman Dana Robbins said.