September 18, 2007

Catching Up With the Cornell Softball Team

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Even though they are in off-season, the Cornell softball team was on the road this past weekend.
Preparing for its upcoming spring season, the team has been working hard this past summer and has already started to practice some this fall. Like many of the players, Alyson Intihar ’10 played in a summer ball league in order to “stay sharp with her mechanics.” The team’s first opportunity this year to put its practice to the test came this weekend when they traveled to Binghamton for a round-robin tournament. Fourteen teams played in the tournament. Cornell’s competitors included Army, Albany, Syracuse, Vermont, and St. Joe’s. The team went 5-0 for the weekend.
Vanessa Leonhard ’10 played particularly well in the game against one of its biggest rivals — Syracuse.
“Vanessa Leonhard hit a screaming double off the center field fence to win the game,” Intihar said.
Her hit resulted in a 3-2 win over Syracuse.
This Saturday, the team will compete at home against Colgate and Mansfield.
“The fall season right now is just for seeing what the team is going to look like in the spring,” Intihar said. “We can see what the incoming freshmen are going to be like and it gives everybody a chance to play.”
“We played very well,” said head coach Dick Blood ’77 about this weekend’s tournament. “The line ups are completely different, so you can’t tell a lot from what you’re seeing on a fall weekend, but it was certainly encouraging.”
“I think we look great. The freshmen are coming up really good,” Leonard said.
Blood believes that the two upcoming freshmen pitchers, Elizabeth Dalrymple ’11 and Ali Tomlinson ’11 will have an opportunity to truly make an impact this year. One of the team’s challenges this year is starting pitching.
“There will be a lot of pressure on the two freshmen pitchers to contribute along with the returning senior,” Blood said. “It’s hard to say how they’ll handle it, but so far they’re demonstrating great poise.”
In the coming months, Blood wants to work with the pitchers a good deal.
“We have to make the ball move,” Blood said. “It won’t move on its own. That’s one of the challenges we’ll have in the next four to five months.”
In particular, he hopes to work with the freshmen pitchers to enable them “to move the ball with authority.”
Intihar has high hopes for the freshmen.
“I think that they’re just going to have a break through year,” Intihar said.
Besides the new additions to the team, both Leonhard and Liz
Larkin ’08, one of the captains this year, agree that Intihar is a player to watch out for this season. After being named to the 2007 ECAC Division I softball all-star team, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Mid-Atlantic All-Region team and the 2007 first-team All-Ivy team, Intihar returns to make an impact as a first basemen. She will additionally suit up as a second basemen and a shortstop.
Larkin believes that this year will be especially promising.
“It’s the first year where we really have strong pitching, strong hitting, and strong defense all at the same time.”