April 8, 2008

Red to Take Advantage of Home Field Weather

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The softball team owes a thank you to the scheduling gods. Cornellians are enjoying the nicest Ithaca weather of 2008 and the Red has doubleheaders today and tomorrow at home where the team will actually be able to take advantage of the friendly conditions.
Cornell (21-7, 7-1 Ivy) will host St. Bonaventure (8-12) in a doubleheader this afternoon on Niemand-Robison Field. Last year, the teams were set to faceoff in St. Bonaventure; however the games were canceled due to inclement weather. The Bonnies prevailed in both of its games against the Red last season. St. Bonaventure won the first contest 7-5 before winning the finale 7-6 in extra innings for the sweep.
This year’s incarnation of Cornell’s softball team has been more successful than the 2006 team and hopes to continue its success with this week’s games.[img_assist|nid=29626|title=Get low|desc=Sophomore outfielder Meg Risica is ready for the pitch during a home game against Columbia last season. Cornell faces St. Bonaventure at home this afternoon.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“Anytime we play midweek, it helps to keep up sharp for the games coming up over the weekend or later in the week,” said head coach Dick Blood. “In any skilled sport like softball or baseball, [the hitters] need to stay sharp so they don’t get overwhelmed by pitching.”
The Red will need to stay sharp indeed as they prepare for tomorrow’s make-u doubleheader against Dartmouth. Cornell also has a big weekend series coming up against Penn that will have a huge impact on its Ivy League title hopes.
Last year, the Red finished one game behind Penn and a three way tie for the best record in the conference. After a 4-0 weekend, The Red currently trail only Princeton (11-17, 8-0 Ivy) in the conference standings.
“I think we were fairly aggressive this weekend and that really helped us put the ball in play more often and move more runners,” Blood said. “Being too selective has not been very effective for us.”
Freshman Elizabeth Dalrymple is slated to start the first game today. Senior pitcher and staff ace Jenn Meunier will start the second game. Meunier came on in relief in both of the team’s games against St. Bonaventure in 2006. Dalrymple did not pitch over the weekend, as classmate Ali Tomlinson and Meunier each pitched two complete games.
“I warmed up a little but over the weekend so my arm is ready,” Dalrymple said. “I think if you’re mentally focused on the games that [your team] plays, even if you’re not physically in them, you stay prepared.”
Tomlinson will be available to pitch in relief this afternoon. The team is hoping to maintain the momentum it built over its undefeated weekend.
“Knowing that we’ve been doing well is great, but keeping that energy and that focus is important,” Dalrymple said.