April 8, 2012

SOFTBALL | Squad Sweeps Brown, Yale in Ivy Road Trip Over Weekend

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Cornell (16-13, 7-1 Ivy League) defeated its Ivy League rivals in a four-game sweep of Brown (6-16, 3-5) and Yale (7-21, 1-7) over the weekend. After dropping two games to Albany in the middle of the week, the Red scored eight runs or higher against the Bears and Bulldogs, showing off its offensive talents.

The highlight of the weekend was the first game against Yale, which ended with a go-ahead three-run home run by sophomore Christina Villalon, with the Red down by one and holding onto its final out. Cornell won the game, 8-6, and went on to complete the sweep in the second game, 8-5. The Red overpowered the Brown Bears with 11-9 and 8-4 victories.

“Our offense has been really hot lately,” said senior captain Katie Watts. “We have had a lot of home runs and clutch RBI to give us big leads. All four games were really exciting, as they tested our ability to score in clutch situations and defend under pressure.”

On Friday against Brown, the star was sophomore Jennifer Bucolo, who went 5-for-9 with six RBI and two home runs in the nightcap. The starting pitchers — senior Jenny Stoller and sophomore Alyson Onyon — both threw six innings to earn the victories. Freshman Linda Laeufer showcased her talents against Yale, going 6-for-9 with four RBI and one home run. Sophomore reliever Sammy Roth pitched over three innings to earn the victory in the game, while Onyon secured the win in the second game. Senior Lauren Marx earned two saves over the weekend.

The Red is now in first place in the Ivy League, with three Ivy teams remaining on the schedule —  Penn, Columbia and Princeton.

“I feel really great about where we are,” Watts said. “We have given ourselves a nice lead in the division, and proved that we have enough talent and enough heart to grin out tough games.”

Senior captain Erin Keene noted how the comeback in the first game against Yale conveyed how the Red is capable of playing.

“That win gave us a lot of momentum going into the second game, which was still a hard fought battle,” she said. “We’re getting better every day, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.”

Next weekend the Red plays Columbia, as it begins its divisional play with four games against the Lions.

“Playing a team four times in two days is really tough,” Keene said. “The hitters and pitchers start to figure each other out, and the race for the divisional title gets tight since the teams try to tear apart one another’s records.”

Before the conference battles begin at Niemand-Robison Field, the Red will play two warm-up games on Wednesday against local rival Syracuse (24-9).

Original Author: Scott Eckl