March 30, 2009

Softball Dominates Brown to Open Ivy Schedule

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Saying that the Red got off to a red hot start in Ivy League play over the weekend would be an understatement. Cornell opened its conference schedule with a statement to the rest of the league by scoring 11 runs in the first inning of game one against Brown (4-12, 0-2 Ivy) on Saturday. The team would cruise to an 11-0 win before another shutout victory, 6-0, in game two.
“It was crazy,” said junior Ashley Garvey about the first inning. “Alison [Intihar] started it off with a really well-hit ball, and our bats just caught fire. Momentum went from batter to batter to batter. We were just sitting in the dugout wondering what was going on. It was just crazy.”
The Red (21-5, 2-0) put together a quick, 7-0, lead in the first before loading the bases for junior Devon March. With one swing of the bat, March put the Red ahead, 11-0, which would remain the score for the rest of the game.
“We crushed their spirits a little bit,” Garvey said. “It’s tough when you get down, especially by 11 runs, to come back. We sent a message –– ‘we’re here to play and we’re not going to let up.’ It was already 7-0, and then Devon March hit a grand slam.
“We’re not going to let up. This is Ivy play and we’re going to take every game and every at-bat seriously. We were talking in the dugout about how we’re not going to stop playing if we have a big lead, but we’re going to bury them. And I think we did a good job of that.”
It also helped that sophomore Elizabeth Dalrymple was dominant in the circle, shutting Brown out for her team-high ninth win of the year.
“The first game against Brown, Elizabeth came out and had her stuff working,” Garvey said. “Not only did we set the tone with our bats, but it started with Elizabeth throwing hard and putting them down 1-2-3 in the top of the first. That’s really where our momentum started.”[img_assist|nid=36362|title=The swing that broke the camel’s back|desc=Sophomore Ashley Garvey went 5-for-7 on the day with four RBIs including a home run — her fifth of the season.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Dalrymple went two and two-thirds innings, giving up just one hit and striking out five to improve on her .92 ERA. With a cozy 11-0 lead, freshman Lauren Marx was brought into the game and pitched 2.1 innings of scoreless ball, allowing only three batters to reach base.
It was more of the same in game two, as sophomore Ali Tomlinson took the mound and established an early tone against the Bears.
“Ali [came out pitching well] too,” Garvey said. “Her performance was just awesome. She was throwing the ball hard and her stuff was obviously working. Yesterday was just a glimpse of what [our pitchers] will be able to do this season.”
While Tomlinson put together six-and-a-third shutout innings en route to her eighth win on the year, Cornell quietly put together six runs. This time, they didn’t all come in the first inning. Instead, the Red got just one run in the first off the bat of Garvey, who brought in Intihar. In the leadoff spot, Intihar went 5-for-7 on the day with four runs.
Cornell’s next run came in the bottom of the second, as Tomlinson helped her own cause with a double to open the inning before senior Meg Risica brought in pinch-runner freshman Katie Watts.
Freshman Cassie Walisiak brought in Garvey in the bottom of the fifth with a bunt, putting the Red up, 3-0. Risica scored later in the inning on an error, before a two-run homer by junior Elise Menaker in the bottom of the sixth gave the Red a 6-0 victory.
Marx came in to finish out the top of the seventh, again without giving up any runs. The freshman now has a team-leading .58 ERA.
“This is the time to get Lauren the experience that she needs,” Garvey said. “If we’re throwing her in a tight game against Princeton, we want to make sure she’s seen the field before. Marx is just outstanding right now. She has great spin on her ball, and she’s shutting people down.”
While the pitchers are shutting the opposition down, the offense is lighting opponents up. Garvey matched Intihar with a 5-for-7 performance on the day, while Berkey and March each went 3-for-6. Garvey’s home run was her fifth of the year, tying her with Berkey atop the Red, and making that total more than twice the two home runs she hit all of last season.
“Earlier when we got back from Winter Break and were working inside, Coach [Dick Blood] talked to me and wanted me to be more of a power hitter,” Garvey said. “I’ve been working on my bat speed, and I’ve been working on getting all of the ball by maybe dropping my shoulder a little bit. Whatever I’ve been doing, I guess it’s been working.”