April 15, 2012

SOFTBALL | Red Earns South Division Lead With Split Senior Day

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In a rainy weekend, the Cornell softball team took three out of four from inter-division rival Columbia. The Red (19-16, 10-2 Ivy League) swept the Lions (10-25, 3-9) on Saturday, before splitting the doubleheader on Sunday. Cornell was boosted by two big innings on Saturday, scoring seven runs in the third inning in game one and five runs in the first inning in game two.

Sophomore infielder Jenny Edwards was the offensive star on Saturday, going four-for-six with three RBI and three runs scored. Her two long balls on the day bring her season total to seven, which leads the Ivy League. Senior pitcher Lauren Marx picked up her league-leading fourth save of the year in the first game, while sophomore Alyson Onyon pitched five complete innings allowing one run to pick up her eighth win of the year (8-3) as the Red claimed the mercy-run win in game two.

“Saturday was a pretty good day for us,” said senior captain Erin Keene. “After a shaky first game, we settled down a lot and were really able to take it to them in the second game.”

The Red lost its first Ivy League this season on Sunday in game one, 7-3. The team came back in game two to earn the split, 5-3. Onyon earned her ninth victory in game two, as she pitched a complete game allowing two earned runs and striking out five.

“Sunday was rough,” Keene said. “We knew it was going to be challenging, but we came out flat and just weren’t able to overcome the deficit.”

Sunday afternoon’s win was important for Cornell, as the Red hung on to the Southern-Ivy League division lead over Penn with a 10-2 record. The victory also came on Senior Day where Cornell honored six seniors — Katie Watts, Jenna Stoller, Morgan Cawley, Erica Gaeta, Marx and Keene. The Red was able to overcome three errors and hold onto a tight win.

Next weekend Cornell plays Southern-division rival Penn in Philadelphia, Pa. on Saturday and Sunday. With Penn in second place in the division, the next four games remain important for the Red’s playoff hopes. During the week, Cornell plays a two game set against Colgate in Hamilton on Thursday.

“This is going to be a tight race in the southern division,” Keene said. “We definitely do not have room for mistakes. We came through with the win in the second game, so we are still holding on.”

Penn and Princeton are the final two Ivy League opponents that are standing in the way of Cornell’s hopes of three-peating as division champions. The Red faces a tough road ahead as the team has no more home games remaining on its schedule.

Original Author: Scott Eckl