April 24, 2008

Softball Dominates With One-Sided Offense

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After several days of perfect softball weather in Ithaca, thunder became a factor in the Red’s doubleheader with Ithaca College yesterday by delaying Game 2 in the middle of the fifth inning. Despite the interruption, Cornell improved to 37-7 with a 6-0 victory in Game 1, followed by an 8-0 win in a no-hitter from freshman Ali Tomlinson.
The Red extended its winning streak to 20 with back-to-back shutouts over the Ithaca Bombers (26-8, 12-0 Empire 8), who had their seven-game winning streak snapped by their cross-town Division I rivals. The Red is currently tied with Princeton — which the Red will face this weekend — at 15-1 atop the Ivy League.
“Obviously a win streak gives the team great momentum,” said sophomore Devon March. “But we can’t get ahead of ourselves, and we just have to take it one game at a time.”
Cornell’s offense scored early and often in Game 1, getting out to a 2-0 lead after the second inning and scoring one run in each of the fourth-through-seventh innings to win by a final score of 6-0. The team that leads the Ivy League in home runs depended on small ball throughout the day. In all but one of the eight innings the Red scored in yesterday, the first or second batter reached on a single and eventually scored, and the Red hit only one homer in both games yesterday.
“I think we did a really good job of getting hits when we needed them,” March said. “We were able to move the runners and make the most of every at bat.”
Senior center fielder Jenna Campagnolo, last week’s Ivy League Player of the Week, kept her hot streak going yesterday against Ithaca. Campagnolo went 3-for-4 with a double and a stolen base in Game 1, scoring two runs and bringing in a run. She went 2-for-2 with four RBI and two runs in Game 2, including a three-run homer.
“The great thing about this lineup is that everyone — one through nine — is so capable at the plate that when one player is struggling, another one will pick us up, like Jenna,” March said. “It just makes us confident — hitting in this lineup — with the players around you.”
While the reigning Ivy League Player of the Week led the Red offensively, reigning Pitcher of the Week Ali Tomlinson had another outstanding performance yesterday in Cornell’s 8-0 Game 2 win. Despite having to wait through an hour-long rain delay in the middle of the fifth inning, the rookie threw a no-hitter while the Red won by mercy rule in five innings. Tomlinson struck out eight Bombers to increase her season total to 111 in under 113 innings pitched.
“[Tomlinson] did a great job,” March said. “She took control of Ithaca’s batters and got a lot of strike outs. We felt really confident playing behind her and having her pitching.”
Not to be outdone was Game 1 starter senior Jenn Meunier, who scattered four hits in seven innings of shutout ball to advance to 19-1 on the season. Meunier struck out seven while only walking one batter.
Offensively, the Red got strong performances from senior infielder Samantha Hare and sophomore catcher Vanessa Leonhard in Game 1. Hare went 3-3, while Leonhard went 3-4 with three RBI and a run. In Game 2, Campagnolo, junior Meg Risica and sophomores Elise Menaker and Dana Robbins each had multi-hit games en route to the mercy rule win.