March 26, 2008

Freshman Hurlers Round Out Solid Rotation

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In 2007, the Red offense was led by an outstanding freshman class. Alyson Intihar and Elise Menaker, now both sophomores, finished first and second in home runs and RBIs, respectively. Of the eleven members of the Red expected to make the biggest impact on the team’s offense this year, five were freshmen a season ago.
This season’s freshman class is making its presence felt in a different way. Two of the team’s top-3 pitchers are freshmen Ali Tomlinson and Elizabeth Dalrymple. Through the team’s first 22 games, the two freshmen standouts each boast ERAs well below 3.00 and have combined to pitch over half of the team’s innings.
Tomlinson was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week for last week’s games, in large part due to her dominating effort against Farleigh Dickinson. She pitched all nine innings of the extra-innings affair, allowing three runs in the sixth inning but shutting the door in each of the other eight. She set a school record by striking out 14 batters in the game, but her focus was on the team.[img_assist|nid=29126|title=Red Aces|desc=Senior pitcher Jenn Meunier (19) along with freshmen Ali Tomlinson and Elizabeth Dalrymple make up part of the Red’s outstanding rotation.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“To be honest, I didn’t even know,” Tomlinson said of breaking the record. “I was just thinking about the fact that our offense really stepped up in the late innings to get the win.”
On the season, Tomlinson is 5-3 with a 2.13 ERA. She has only given up one home run in nearly 50 innings pitched.
“I think she’s done great,” said fellow pitcher sophomore Dana Robbins. “She transitioned really well to college ball. She’s gotten a lot of girls to swing and miss and her ball is moving really well.”
Dalrymple has a 2-2 record and a 2.50 ERA after eight appearances, including six starts. She has 28 strikeouts in 36 1/3 innings.
“Considering it’s been only the first couple weeks, I’m pretty happy, but I still have a lot to learn,” she said. “I’ve definitely improved a lot with the help of Coach [Dick] Blood and just getting the experience of playing a few games at the college level, but I have a long ways to go in terms of experience at the position and finding more consistency with my pitches.”
Blood praised the two young pitchers.
“During the recruiting process, we knew that they’d be special players,” he said. “They’ve both had a huge impact on the program. They are sharing innings so the opposing hitters can’t get used to one look.”
Tomlinson and Dalrymple agreed that the most difficult aspect of the transition to the college game is the superior level of competition they face.
“In high school, you’re really concerned with the three, four, five hitters,” Dalrymple said. “Here, every hitter is the three, four or five hitter from high school. Every pitch matters and every pitch can change the game.”
As good as they have been so far, they each admit that there are areas where they need to improve.
“As a freshman, I still have a lot to learn and a lot of room to grow,” Tomlinson said. “I really need to go into the game with a better mindset and maybe a little more confidence. I’m still a little nervous every time.”