April 26, 2010

Softball Sweeps Lions at Home

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In a rain-shortened weekend, the Red once again received solid pitching from its star junior and came away with a pair of wins against Columbia. The Red now finds itself with a comfortable four game cushion in the Ivy League South Division with a conference record of 12-2, while the Lions fell to 2-12 in Ivy play. Junior Elizabeth Dalrymple, last week’s Ivy League Pitcher of the Week, came out strong in the first game on Saturday, striking out six in four shutout innings of work. With the Red up by 10 runs the Cornell ace was taken out after four innings of work and relieved by sophomore Lauren Marx, who pitched a scoreless fifth inning to preserve the team’s 10-0 shutout. After no-hitting Penn last weekend, Dalrymple looked poised for a repeat performance until a leadoff double in the third inning ruined her chance at history. “[Dalrymple] pitched very, very well. She had good stuff,” said head coach Dick Blood. “She’s able to work the plate up and down.”Blood wasn’t hesitant in heaping praise on Marx either. “Lauren has so many good pitches in her arsenal,” he said. “We know we’re in capable hands when they’re on the mound.”The offensive spark in the first game was provided by freshman catcher Kristen Towne, who scored two runs, picked up two RBI’s and most impressively hit three doubles in the game — a school record. Senior Devon March came up big as well, adding three RBI’s of her own.“Kristen is a very cerebral player,” Blood said. “She is very calm at the plate. She’s done a really nice job for us this season.”The Red got off to a quick start in their second game, again tacking on three runs in the first inning. Senior shortstop Alyson Intihar got things going with a leadoff triple and was brought home by an RBI single courtesy of sophomore left fielder Shannon Crane. Towne picked up an RBI off a sacrifice fly in the first, and then provided some insurance for Cornell with an RBI single in the third.Still, this game was tight throughout thanks to some solid pitching by Columbia’s Maggie Johnson.Towne attributed Johnson’s success to her “slow” pitching delivery. “We had some trouble waiting for the ball,” she said. “We were too anxious.”Blood also praised Johnson’s pitching, and argued that the second game was closer than the first because Columbia came out loose, while his team faced a lot of pressure to win.Columbia finally got on the scoreboard in the sixth, ending a 10.2 inning drought, when Columbia’s Kayla Lechler launched a homerun off of Dalrymple to straightaway center. Nonetheless, Dalrymple finished with another impressive stat line of four strikeouts, no walks and one run allowed over seven innings.Though Sunday’s games were postponed, the senior ceremony scheduled to take place before the games did occur on Sunday night. The Red honored its six seniors Ashley Garvey, Alyson Intihar, Vanessa Leonhard, Devon March, Elise Menaker and Izzy Pines.“The senior leadership has been very important for the underclassmen,” Blood said. “They bring a calming influence and a cerebral approach. They understand the importance of not getting pumped up, but taking a good look at the situation.”Towne also extolled the senior class, saying that they were incredibly helpful.“They are great people, and I couldn’t have asked for a better class,” she said.Still, the Red realizes that the season is not over and recognizes that it needs to close it out strong. The Red will make the two Columbia games up on Tuesday, and then will make the brief trek over to Ithaca College on Wednesday.“We are very hopeful that we could clinch the Ivy League South title, and win the Ivy League championships,” Towne said.

Original Author: Jonathan Shtaynberger