April 22, 2012

SOFTBALL | Red Splits Series; Onyon Earns Shutout Against Penn

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Heading into the final weekend of Ivy League play, Cornell’s softball team is tied atop the Southern Division after dropping three of four games to Penn on Friday and Saturday.  Next weekend’s series against Princeton is pivotal, as the Red is on the hunt to win its third straight division championship.

Despite dropping the first three games, the Red (20-20, 11-5 Ivy League) salvaged the final game of the series Saturday afternoon with a 5-0 victory. In the first three games, the Quakers (27-15, 11-5) managed to maintain the upper hand, winning 5-2, 9-6 and 9-2, respectively.

“We saw exactly what we were expecting from Penn,” said senior captain and infielder Erin Keene. “They were a great team and I think we battled hard the whole weekend.”

Sophomore pitcher Alyson Onyon earned her 10th win of the season Saturday afternoon, while scattering five hits and striking out six in the complete game shutout.

“Onyon pitched a great game for us in the final game,” said senior captain and outfielder Katie Watts. “Her performance was key in holding up our offense.”

The three-run first inning provided the Red with enough offense fire to last the entire game. Sophomore Jenny Edwards was three-for-four in the game, with one homerun and two runs scored.

“With a win in the last game, we’ve kept ourselves in the race for the southern division,” Keene said. “So, next weekend should be exciting.”

At 11-5 in the Ivy League, Cornell and Penn are in a dead tie for the lead. Cornell plays at Princeton (14-27, 8-8) next weekend, while Penn plays Columbia (12-29, 6-10).

“We had put ourselves in a great position by having an 11-1 Ivy record going into this weekend,” Watts said. “We will need to be able to get our offense going early again next weekend and have consistent defense to keep our hopes of a title alive.”

The Red has experienced a successful campaign up until this point in the season, featuring offensive standouts. Overall, Cornell leads its division in team batting average with a .270 clip. Cornell also leads the Ivies in homeruns (41), coming in second only to Harvard in total hits (299). Edwards is tied for the league-lead in homeruns with eight, and junior catcher Kristen Towne leads the league with doubles (12).

Before the final Ivy showdown against Princeton, the Red has its final tune up series on April 25 against neighbor Ithaca (20-11).

“As always our mid-week games are a good opportunity to work on our mechanics and just play solid softball in preparation for the weekend,” Keene said. “At the same time, we’ve struggled to win during the week, so it is going to be especially important for us to focus on playing to win against Ithaca.”

Original Author: Scott Eckl