March 7, 2008

Red Looks to Uphold Winning Tradition at Spartan Classic

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One year ago, the softball team (3-1) used the Spartan Classic to improve to a school-record 10-0 record. The Red won all six games in Norfolk, Va., winning three games by one run each and winning the other three games by an average of six runs.
Like last year, the Red will face Niagara, Delaware, and host Norfolk State. Cornell will open the weekend today with games against St. Francis and Morgan State, two teams it did not face a year ago.
“We expect to do pretty well,” said sophomore Dana Robbins. “We know that there will be competition down there so we’ll have to work hard, but it’s a great way to get ready for the upcoming Ivy season.”
Last year, pitchers Jenn Meunier and Haley Mirrer were stellar on the mound for the Red. Meunier, now a senior, was 4-0 with a save in the Spartan Classic. Mirrer, who is currently a junior, recorded wins in the other two contests. This year, Mirrer and Meunier are joined in the rotation by freshman standout Ali Tomlinson.
“Everyone is doing a great job right now,” Robbins said. “Everyone is putting something in, whether it be on the diamond or hitting or in relief for the other pitchers. Everyone has contributed something, especially this last weekend. We had six home runs and all by people who don’t necessarily hit them all the time.”
The team effort has the Red off to a 3-1 start.
“As a team, we’re just hoping to improve on how we did last weekend,” said sophomore Vanessa Leonhard.
The Red has become accustomed to playing inside, as Ithaca weather has forced it to practice indoors. It will be a transition for the team to adjust to playing on grass outdoors.
“Mostly, it’s a space issue,” Leonhard said of the transition. “It’s a different surface to play on.”
The Red’s schedule calls for an 11 a.m. game today against St. Francis, followed almost immediately by a contest with Morgan State. Tomorrow, the team again will play at 11 a.m., against Norfolk State. It will continue the day against Niagara. Sunday’s only game pits Cornell against Delaware.[img_assist|nid=28632|title=Sweet spot|desc=Cornell will face opponents both home and away during this weekend’s Classic. The Red hope to capitalize on early momentum from last weekend’s 3-1 tournament successes.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]