March 16, 2011

Red Preps for 17-Game Spring Break

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While most Cornell students will be relaxing during Spring Break, Cornell’s softball team will be on a seventeen-game, ten-day road trip with six stops along the way. Cornell (2-4, 0-0 Ivy League) will begin its annual Spring Break trip with the club’s third straight visit to Fairfax, Va. — the home of George Mason — to take part in the Mason Cherry Blossom Classic.Playing multiple weekends at George Mason to start the season is not out of the ordinary for the club, which has traditionally started its season in Fairfax and almost considers the town a second home.“I’ve been down there for four years straight for preseason games,” said senior outfielder and tri-captain Marissa Amiraian. “We enjoy being in nice weather anyways.”“We have played multiple weekends there every year that I can remember,” added senior pitcher and tri-captain Ali Tomlinson. “It’s actually pretty nice to be at such a familiar field and around such familiar facilities.”Cornell has already had three games cancelled this season, and as a result, has fewer games under its belt than opposing teams. Cornell will look to use the upcoming road trip to gain some experience and help prepare itself for the Ivy League season, which begins on April Fool’s Day.“Spring Break is always a really exciting trip for everybody, just to get some consistent play,” Tomlinson said. “It’s one thing to go from weekend to weekend — we’ve had a couple games rained out and one cancelled — but we’re just really excited to get some back-to-back games in. …and get ourselves ready for the Ivy League. When we come back, we start right away, so we really look forward to this trip to work out any last minute kinks and really have our lineup come together and really build team chemistry.”“It’s a great opportunity to get in some games before the Ivy League season,” Amiraian added. “We’re going to make sure our defense is sound and we’re really sure [of our approach] at the plate.”The Red’s offense has been inconsistent so far, as it’s managed to manufacture only one run in three of its six games. The unit has not been able to string together a series of hits nor produce a big inning, as it did not score more than two runs in a single inning in any of its four games last weekend.The pitching has been better than the offense, primarily due to senior pitcher and tri-captain Elizabeth Dalrymple. The reigning two-time Ivy League Pitcher of the Year has a sparkling 0.65 earned runs average and has thrown a complete game in all three games she has started; however, she has suffered two hard-luck losses and has a 1-2 record to show for her work. Despite her pedestrian record, Dalrymple’s performance has not gone unnoticed: she was named the Ivy League Pitcher of the Week last week.With all the upcoming games, it is difficult for the team to focus on one specific matchup. Instead, the Red will look to approach all opposing teams with the same intensity.“We take every game very seriously. Every game is played as if it’s a championship game, and that’s just how we go into our season and into every game. It’s important to always play your ‘A’ game [because] your opponent is doing the same,” Tomlinson said. “We approach every opponent the same way, with the same kind of determination and understanding that we’re here to play and we’re here to win.”The Red has a chance to redeem itself during the Mason Cherry Blossom Classic after losing twice to George Mason within a week — both times by a single run — early in the season. Cornell will also play games against Howard, Albany and Monmouth during the tournament. After the Classic, the Red will travel to four different schools on four consecutive days, playing two games each day. Cornell will stop at George Washington, Virginia Tech, Liberty and Longwood. The second weekend of Break, the Red will take part in the Mount St. Mary’s Invite Tournament, taking on Bucknell and the host school, Mount St. Mary.Despite the hectic schedule, the team is eager to begin the stretch ahead.“It’s definitely exciting for us. We play a lot of good ball clubs and we see a lot of different teams to better prepare us for [the Ivy League] season,” Amiraian said. “We usually head down to Florida so this is our first time heading to Virginia for our spring trip. Spring Break is pretty exciting because of the opportunity to play several games.”After the trip, Cornell transitions immediately into the Ivy League season. The Red will host Yale and Brown at Niemand-Robison Softball Field the weekend after students return from Break.

Original Author: Albert Liao