April 15, 2010

Softball Falls to Syracuse, Looks to Rebound Against Penn on the Road

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The softball team’s winning streak was finally snapped yesterday, as Syracuse handily defeated Cornell twice on its own Niemand-Robison Field. Though the first game ended in a 4-1 loss for the Red, it was the second game that was truly devastating, as the Orange (21-16, 5-3 Big East) soundly beat Cornell, 10-0.  Throughout the entire second game, the Red had just a single hit, coming from sophomore right fielder Morgan Cawley. Meanwhile, Syracuse continued to score again and again, and in the sixth inning, the game was brought to an end. Cornell hopes to rebound from the upsetting losses in time for its next challenge: a pair of doubleheaders played on the road this weekend against Penn. As it stands, Penn (12-15, 6-2 Ivy) is a close second to Cornell (21-10, 7-1 Ivy) in the Ivy League South Division, and has a record only matched by that of Harvard in the North Division. Needless to say, the Red is going to have to be at its best to defeat the Quakers.Last year, Cornell easily swept all four games in the series against Penn, victorious by a combined score of 38-15. The Red is certainly hoping for a repeat this weekend; however, Penn’s team seems to have significantly improved from its 10-10 Ivy League record last year. This year, the Quakers boast several talented players that could prove to be especially challenging for Cornell.  Senior outfielder Keiko Uragachi leads the team with a .349 batting average and eight RBI this season. Alongside Uragachi is junior Alisha Prystowsky, who currently has a .325 batting average, eight doubles and 16 RBI. Penn is a less dominant force from the mound, with its best pitcher, sophomore Chelsea Ott, having only a 3-5 record and an ERA of 2.75. As a whole, the Quakers’ pitching staff is allowing opposing teams to hit an average of .314. The Red hopes to capitalize on this weakness with its powerful and consistent offense. At this point, Cornell has eight players batting over .300, while Penn has only four. Not to mention that Cornell also has one player —  senior shortstop Alyson Intihar — batting over .400, a feat which Penn is nowhere near achieving. Collectively, the Red’s hitting is averaging .309, a value high enough to earn fourth place on the all-time list at Cornell.  However, hitting is not the only area in which Cornell is excelling —  currently, the Red’s fielding percentage matches the school record of .969. In addition, before yesterday’s games against Syracuse, the team had made just one error throughout four games. So, although Penn is going to be a tough team to beat, it seems as though Cornell may fare relatively well this weekend. And perhaps yesterday’s painful losses will spark in the team a strong desire to dominate the weekend games.

Original Author: Hannah Fillas