March 14, 2011

Dalrymple Pitches Solid Weekend for Softball Despite Losses

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For the second straight week in a row, the softball team traveled to Fairfax, Va., to play in two double-header games. The Red played hard in each contest — pushing two crucial losses into extra innings — before eventually falling, 1-3, overall. Cornell split Saturday’s games —winning against Bucknell, 3-0, before losing to George Mason, 7-6, in extra innings. The Red concluded the weekend on Sunday with back-to-back losses to Bucknell, 4-1, and Binghamton, 2-1 — forcing the Central New York rival to play an extra inning.

Although the games were close, the final results did not reflect that in Cornell’s win column. The Red is now 2-4 — surrendering two of the losses to George Mason. Cornell faced the Patriots a week ago, losing in the final minutes when George Mason pulled ahead with a late inning score. The Red continues to play hard to minimize scoring deficits, but it still needs to work more to successfully secure the wins.

“Obviously, we would like a few more wins,” said senior co-captain and outfielder Marissa Amiraian. “We just need to play harder and we have a little bit of work to do.”

“We played pretty well,” added senior co-captain and pitcher Ali Tomlinson. “We still need to work out the kinks since we have a new line-up this year and we’ll have to make a little bit of adjustments.”

The weekend started solidly in the first game against Bucknell, as senior pitcher Elizabeth Dalrymple — two-time Ivy League pitcher of the year — pitched a complete game shut-out. She only allowed two hits and struck out 12 batters — including the first eight players to step up to the plate.

“She was really great,” Amiraian said. “She threw the ball really hard and she was hitting her spots. She fought really hard out there.”

“She was in the zone,” commented Tomlinson, also admiring Dalrymple’s pitching in the first game. “She’s a very consistent pitcher and I think she will be a foundation for our team going forward.”

Despite Dalrymple dominating the mound, the team was not able to scratch any runs until the third inning when Amiraian tripled to center and scored a run on a popout fly. Cornell added a run in the fourth inning when sophomore Kristen Towne hit her first homerun of the season and then added another in the fifth with freshman Jenny Edwards’ RBI single — successfully closing the win against Bucknell.

In the second game on Saturday, Cornell faced George Mason once again — losing by one run for a second time. The team came back with two runs in the seventh inning to send the game into extra innings with a two-out single from freshman Christina Villalon, which allowed Amiraian to score. Although George Mason scored once more with a two-out RBI double, the Red clearly demonstrated that it was determined to fight for the win up until the very end.

“[George Mason and Cornell] are very evenly matched,” Tomlinson said. “Even though we didn’t come out on top, I think it will be the foundation for the team to be able to handle tough situations later on and being able to come back showed our team heart and character.”

Though the first game on Sunday was highlighted by another great performance by Dalrymple, the rest of the Red struggled to put numbers on the board — undermining Dalrymple’s game scattering five hits and her allowing only one walk with nine players completely striking out.

“We weren’t scoring enough for her,” said Amiraian. “We didn’t pull through for her at the plate.”

“We didn’t play our A-game,” added Tomlinson. “They took advantage of some of our mistakes and we’ll learn from them.”

Dalrymple’s game started to weaken in the beginning of the second game on Sunday against Binghamton; however, she limited the Bearcats’ damage to only a run in the first inning. Cornell was hitless through the first three innings and stayed scoreless until Towne hit an RBI single in the fourth. The game remained tied until the eighth inning when Binghamton got a run-scoring groundout. Cornell opened its inning with Amiraian moving from second base to third — ultimately failing to secure a run after a teammate bunted the ball in an attempt to tie the game.

“The game could have gone either way if I scored,” said Amiraian. “The key is to work hard at practice and use the training in the games. We need to really execute in the games and work on the little things.”

“We’ve been playing well but we’re still working out the kinks,” said Tomlinson. “It’s going to be exciting see how it comes together during the rest of the season.”

Original Author: Wankyu Lee