The softball team had another successful doubleheader yesterday as it defeated local rival Ithaca College in both games, 13-1 and 6-2. Although the results are statistically unimportant, the two wins will give the Red a useful momentum and a winning mindset.
Now the Red hopes to ride its winning streak from these midweek matchups into the weekend games, when Princeton visits Ithaca for a four-game series. The Princeton games come with a lot of pressure since with a winning weekend, not only can the Red clinch the Ivy League South title, but it can also gain home field advantage for the Ivy League playoffs.
“Princeton is always a good team,” said senior third baseman Elise Menaker. “But since this is the end of the season, these are especially big games…we’re going to be playing with a lot more pressure.”
Though Princeton (11-29, 5-11 Ivy) is currently seated third in the Ivy League South Division, the Tigers will still prove to be formidable opponents for the Red (28-11, 14-2 Ivy). Princeton currently leads the all-time series between the two teams, with a 22-16 record. However, the last time that the two teams met, Cornell earned a 7-2 victory on its home field.
To be victorious again, though, the Red will have to overcome a powerful Princeton roster. At the present time, senior second baseman Collette Abbott leads the Tigers with a .297 batting average, seven doubles, and 15 RBI’s. She is followed closely by senior pitcher Jamie Lettire, who has a batting average of .295, seven doubles, and 22 RBI’s. Pitching, however, is an area in which the Princeton team seems to be struggling. The Tigers’ main starting pitchers, Lettire and freshman Liza Kuhn, are posting ERA’s of 6.04 and 4.90, respectively. Collectively, opponents have been hitting a .324 against the Princeton pitching staff.
Luckily, Cornell’s pitchers have been giving outstanding performances. On Tuesday, junior Elizabeth Dalrymple completed the four game series with Columbia with a victory in every game. She allowed just one earned run in an 11-inning span, and struck out nine batters total.
The Red’s offense has been playing at an equally impressive level as well. On Tuesday, Cornell smashed 18 hits in a single game, and had a sky-high team batting average of .455.
“We had some clutch wins [in those games],” Menaker said. “It was great to see the timely hitting, and our outstanding pitching kept us in the game…we’re playing really well together.”
With some good fortune, the team will continue to play well together, clinch the Ivy South title, and earn the home field advantage for the playoffs.
“We’re just trying to play the best softball we can right now,” Menaker said. “We can’t take Princeton lightly, they’re a good ball club…we just have to keep doing what we have been doing.”
Original Author: Hannah Fillas