March 6, 2012

Softball Splits Weekend Tournament at George Mason-Patriot Classic in Fairfax, Va.

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Coming out of last season with three straight Ivy League division titles and two Ancient Eight crowns in hand, the Red began its season over the weekend at the George Mason-Patriot Classic in Fairfax, Va. Saturday was a busy day for Cornell (2-2), with the team playing in a double-header against Marist and Akron. The Red fell to Marist, 6-0, in the opener, before coming back and claiming a close 9-8 win over Akron. Sunday was an equally split day, as the Red played against Rider and host school, George Mason. Cornell scooted by Rider with a 2-0 victory; however, the squad was unable to triumph over George Mason, losing 3-2 by a tight one point margin.

Last season, the Red went 27-22-1 and claimed a Division title, but then dropped the Ivy League championship series to Ivy rival Harvard. That run continued a strand of excellence of 15 years, where the team posted 25 or more wins in the season. Additionally, head coach Dick Blood earned the honor of the coach with the most all-time wins in Cornell athletics history for a single sport. This year he enters the season with 542 victories and will continue to coach his team with the end goal of taking the Ivy League Championship this season.

This past weekend was the starting point for the Red to create a season benchmark. The game between Cornell and Marist was a tough one for the Red, as the team could only produce two hits during game one, leading to a 6-0 loss. The Red Foxes scored four runs in the second inning, which proved to be all that the opposition needed to take the win out of the hands of the Red. Cornell’s two hits in the first game came off the bats of sophomore infielder Jenny Edwards and senior infielder Erin Keene. Keene hit a double to start off the third inning, before being stranded as the Red continued to struggle to put points on the board.

In the Akron matchup, the Red knocked out 10 hits and overcame a two-run deficit in the sixth inning to take the 9-8 win. Edwards was a shinning star throughout the day, coming up with multiple hits and RBIs, as well as hitting a home run, making her 2-for-4 by the end of the day. Junior catcher Kristen Towne was also a force to be reckoned with, as she went 2-for-3 for the day with a walk. To round out the trio, Keene collected two hits, one being a double, along with scoring twice for the day. Sophomore pitcher Allyson Onyon secured the victory for the Red after taking to the mound as a relief pitcher. She gave up only one hit and three base runners during the last two innings. The win marked the first career victory in the circle for Onyon.

On the second day of competition, the Red split its matches against Temple and George Mason, beating Rider, 2-0, in game one, before losing to George Mason in a close contest, 3-2. Onyon also came out on the second day and had a strong showing with two hits, two walks against her in the game against Rider and striking out a career-high seven batters.

Cornell ended the classic in Fairfax, 2-2, with a .500 average for the weekend. The Red returns to George Mason for another invitational next weekend from March 10-11. The trip marks the second of three straight weekend of road trips to George Mason. Cornell will face off against Hartford and George Mason over the weekend, as it prepares for the rest of the season.

Original Author: Haley Velasco