April 10, 2008

Softball Continues Ivy Dominance

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The Red extended its win streak to eight yesterday by taking two wins over visiting Dartmouth. After taking a close 3-1 victory in Game 1, the Red offense exploded in Game 2 en route to an 11-3 blowout. With the win, Cornell improved to 25-7 overall and 7-1 in the Ivy League.
The Red scored runs early and often yesterday, as has been the recent trend. Amidst an eight game winning streak, sophomore leadoff hitter Devon March has reached base and scored to open the game in four of the last six contests.
“There are voices in the back of my mind always telling me that it’s very important to get on [base],” March said.
I just really try to do whatever I can to get on, whether it’s a walk or a hit — it’s just important for the leadoff batter to try to get the momentum going for the game.”
[img_assist|nid=29715|title=A clean sweep|desc=Senior Jenna Campagnolo’s homer extended the Red’s comfortable lead in Game 2 yesterday.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Yesterday was no different, as March reached base to open Game 1, advanced to second on a sac bunt from senior Samantha Hare and was driven in on a double from sophomore Alyson Intihar. Intihar added another run in the first, scoring off of a sac fly from sophomore Elise Menaker.
“Getting after a team early in a game is really important,” Intihar said. “It sets the tone for the rest of the game. We didn’t really do that early in the season, but we’ve been starting to do it a little more.”
After a Red error allowed the Green to score a run in the top of the second, a solo shot from junior Jessy Berkey brought the score to 3-1.
The three runs would prove to be more than enough for senior pitcher Jenn Meunier, who pitched all seven innings and gave up only one unearned run to improve to 14-1 on the season.
“Not really,” Meunier said when asked if she was concerned at all after Dartmouth scored. “I had a lot of confidence in the offense, and one run wasn’t a big deal at the time. … They aren’t the strongest hitting team we’ve faced in the Ivy League. I just focused on still pounding the strike zone and hitting my spots.”
Cornell got out to another quick start in Game 2, as March again reached base and would eventually score the Red’s first run.
“To know that you have such excellent hitters following in the order just gives us a lot of confidence that we will get the run across,” March said. “It adds to my desire to get on base, because I know that those guys can get the job done.”
The batters behind March certainly got the job done, going through the entire order until March drove in the Red’s final run of the first inning to make the score 8-0.
“In the previous couple games we’ve been playing catch-up a lot and getting behind, so today we really set the goal of getting ahead first,” March said. “To score in the first inning just sets the tone for the game and puts the pressure on the other team.”
Dartmouth responded to Cornell’s opening salvo by getting a run in the top half of the second and adding two more in the third. With a comfortable 8-3 lead, freshman Ali Tomlinson (9-4) settled down on the mound for the Red and didn’t allow another run. Senior Jenna Campagnolo, whose three RBI led the game, tallied a solo homer in the fourth for the Red’s ninth run.
Dartmouth (6-19, 2-6 Ivy) wasn’t as successful, however, giving up another three runs and scoring no more to bring the final score to 11-3. With the win, Cornell ended its round of Ivy League North Division games — dropping only one to defending conference champion Harvard.