April 23, 2009

Softball Comes Out Victorious Against I.C.

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Despite having already clinched the Ivy League South Division title over the weekend, the softball team showed no signs of relenting, soundly defeating Ithaca College (22-12) in a non-conference doubleheader at Niemand-Robison Field yesterday afternoon. The Red (36-10, 13-3 Ivy) required only five innings in both games to add to its win column, outscoring the Bombers by a combined 21-3.
“We don’t ever take it easy with any competition,” said junior Alyson Intihar, who led the team offensively, going 5-for-7 on the day with a home run and three doubles. “We always just go out there and do the best we can and always leave it on the field. … These games are just really, really good preparation for the Ivy League games on the weekend. … It’s good to stay focused and have that mentality for the weekend games.”
“It’s a midweek game, so it’s really nice to get some live at-bats,” added senior co-captain Meg Risica.
In Game 1, Intihar led off the bottom of the first inning with a single up the middle and advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by junior Devon March. Junior Elise Menaker singled to put runners at the corners, enabling Intihar to score the first run of the game on a passed ball. Menaker followed her home after a single by Risica.
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Sophomore pitchers Elizabeth Dalrymple and Ali Tomlinson split time on the mound, shutting out the Bomber offense while striking out a combined three batters and surrendering only one hit between them. Tomlinson also helped herself at the plate, going 1-for-3 with three RBIs.
Menaker reached on a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the third, and a Garvey single up the middle followed by an error on the Ithaca shortstop allowed her to score. Tomlinson then doubled to right field, driving in two of her three runs on the day. Freshman Cassie Walisiak singled to right to drive in another run, and Intihar followed with a double to centerfield to put Cornell up, 8-0.
Garvey led off the bottom of the fourth with a single, and Risica followed suit. Both runners advanced when senior Jessy Berkey grounded out to the pitcher, and another groundout off the bat of Tomlinson brought home a run. Junior Vanessa Leonhard followed with a double to drive in the Red’s 10th and final run.
“A lot of people contributed with hits,” Risica said. “It was nice because a lot of people got play on the team [who] don’t always get a chance … [it] was nice to have everyone contributing.”
Game 2 was much the same in terms of an explosive showing from the Red offense –– the only difference being that the Bombers actually managed to get on the scoreboard.
Junior Izzy Pines walked in the bottom of the first inning with one out, and Menaker singled to centerfield, setting the stage for a huge three-run homer from Garvey. With two outs, senior co-captain Nicole Cheever reached base on an error, advancing Risica, who had walked, to second base. Freshman Morgan Cawley followed with a deep triple to centerfield to drive in two more runs.
Intihar led off in the bottom of the second inning with a home run –– one of her four RBIs on the day. In the next inning, Cheever opened with a single and moved to second on a sac bunt by Cawley. In a clutch effort, Intihar doubled to centerfield to bring home Cheever.
Ithaca, which had scored its first run of the day in the first inning, collected three hits in the top of the fourth to manufacture two more runs.
The Red executed a seemingly-perfect combination of small ball and long ball in the bottom of the fourth, as Menaker walked and Garvey singled up the middle to lead off the inning. Risica advanced the runners with a sac bunt, and was nearly safe at first in the process. Berkey hit a sac fly to deep centerfield to score Menaker, and Cheever followed with a home run to hand Cornell a seven-run advantage.
“We did a really great job of getting runners on base and then driving them in,” Risica said.
The Red needed one run in the fifth inning to end the game, and Intihar delivered with a double to drive in sophomore Marissa Amiraian, making the final score 11-3. Freshman Lauren Marx took the win for Cornell, allowing two earned runs while moving to 6-2 on the season.
“I thought we played solid defense. The pitchers pitched well, and we hit pretty well, too,” Intihar said. “As much as you can play the game of softball as a team, I feel like we’re really playing as a team.
“The direction we’re headed in is a good one, and [if we] just keep doing what we’re doing and keep playing our game … the results will be good.”
“We came in fired up and ready to go … and it showed,” Risica added.