April 17, 2009

Softball Four-by-Four

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Whenever the softball team has faltered this season, whether in one game or back-to-back contests, it has rebounded in commanding fashion. The Red will hope to do the same this weekend when it travels to New York City to take on Columbia at Baker Athletics Complex in a four-game series.
“Our goal is always to win all four games,” said junior second baseman Devon March. “We know we’re a very capable team, and we just have to make sure that we play every inning as hard as we can and make sure we leave everything on the field.”
Cornell (31-9, 10-2 Ivy) is coming off being swept by Syracuse in twin bill action on Wednesday, a night in which the Red’s bats went ice-cold. The team totaled just nine hits and was shut out in both games, 3-0 and 8-0.
Fortunately for the Red, the Lions (12-24, 2-10) have not enjoyed much success as of late, having been swept by Princeton in Sunday-Monday doubleheaders earlier this week. Last night, Columbia fell to Manhattan in two games, extending its losing streak to seven games.
Sophomore Stephanie Yagi led the team with two hits in Game 1, and sophomores Maggie Johnson and Anne Marie Skylis each went 1-for-3 and contributed an RBI. Sophomore Erica Clauss and freshman Jessica Rakonza split time on the mound in the losing effort. A classic pitcher’s duel ensued in the second game, with neither team scoring until the sixth inning. Johnson was dominant in the circle, pitching five scoreless innings before the Jaspers got to her. Manhattan put two runners on base with back-to-back singles in the top of the sixth, and with two outs, Danielle Just doubled to deep center field, notching two RBIs in the process. The Lions mounted an unsuccessful comeback, ultimately falling, 2-1, and handing Manhattan the sweep.[img_assist|nid=36954|title=Slidin dirty|desc=Senior outfielder Meg Risica slides into third in the Red’s 11-3 win over Penn.|link=node|align=right|width=|height=0]
Columbia’s last win, a one-run victory over Brown in Game 1 of a doubleheader, came on April 5. Coincidentally, that was the last time Cornell had surrendered a game before Wednesday’s crushing defeats.
Nevertheless, as with every series, the Red is not taking its competition lightly.
“As with any team that you play in conference, you definitely don’t want to ever underestimate them,” said March. “We know that they have a good team, and we know that they’re going to play us hard, so we just really need to go out there and play our game.”
“Every person, the Nos. 1 through 9 in our lineup, has been doing a great job contributing,” March added. “And every person in our lineup is really capable, and we can depend on anyone.”