April 17, 2011

Senior Captains Lead Softball to Two Ivy Wins

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On her birthday, senior tri-captain Ali Tomlinson delivered with a go-ahead two-run homerun in the top of the seventh inning against Columbia on Saturday in New York, N.Y. Trailing for much of the game on Saturday after Columbia (10-24, 2-9 Ivy League) put an early run on the board, Cornell (18-17-1, 7-4) was able to hang in and rally back to take the victory, 2-1. After weather forced the teams to postpone the second end of Saturday’s doubleheader until today at 12:30 p.m., the Ivy opponents returned to the field on Sunday to play two more games. The first matchup ended with another Cornell win, 2-1; however, the Red was shut out in game two, 6-0. In Saturday’s action, Tomlinson’s big hit came after freshman right fielder Christina Villalon reached base after an error. With the leadoff hitter on base, the Red set up for a potential rally.“When Christina got on base with an error, we knew it was a big opening for us,” said junior shortstop Erin Keene.With a runner on base, Tomlinson worked the count full and then took a pitch deep to right to give Cornell its first lead of the game.“Ali just ripped the ball,” Keene said. “It was an enormous hit. We needed it — that was [the game].”While Cornell struggled at the plate, Columbia came out strong on the offensive end. Senior pitcher and tri-captain Elizabeth Dalrymple limited the damage by scattering eight hits and two walks over seven innings. Dalrymple’s lone mistake came on a pitch that was hit out for a leadoff homerun in the sixth inning, giving the Lions their only run of the game. Despite that blemish, Dalrymple lowered her season ERA to 1.36 and pitched yet another complete game.“Columbia came out with their bats swinging,” Keene noted.The game was held scoreless for so long partly because of Cornell’s efforts on defense. Dalrymple’s effectiveness on the mound was only matched by the defense exhibited by the players behind her, which helped keep Columbia off the scoreboard.“Defensively, we stayed strong throughout the whole game,” Keene said.Cornell struggled at the plate as Columbia’s pitcher Prophet Gaspard baffled the Red hitters. Eventually though, Tomlinson was able to come through with her big hit.“[Gaspard] was moving the ball really well,” Keene said. “We were trying to make adjustments and luckily, Ali adjusted just in time.”In the first game of a doubleheader on Sunday, Dalrymple produced another gem on the mound. The Red struck with two runs in the third inning and held on despite a scare at the end, as Columbia rallied back with a run in the seventh; however, Dalrymple quickly ended the game by inducing a flyout. Dalrymple gave up six hits and did not allow a run, striking out two in the process.In the second game, Columbia put up four in the second inning highlighted by a two-run homerun that did half the damage. The Red only came up with four hits, but still managed to hold Columbia to two unearned runs over the last 4.2 innings behind Tomlinson’s pitching.With this afternoon’s results still pending, the Red finds itself sitting in first place in the Ivy League South Division at 7-4. With nine conference games still remaining, the team recognizes how necessary it is to be successful in those matchups in particular. “These games are very important for us as they will put us in good position in the Ivy League,” Keene said.After today’s makeup game, the Red will host a doubleheader against Colgate on Wednesday afternoon at Niemand-Robison field. According to Keene, the team will use this opportunity to play in real game situations to prepare for next weekend’s games against Penn.“We’ll tune up on our offense and defense,” Keene said. “We’ll use it to have our hitters see live pitching and for our pitchers to face live batters. They’re good competition.

Original Author: Wankyu Lee