Photo Courtesy of Cornell Athletics

Even though things are not going as hoped, small positives, like senior catcher Leanne Ianucci’s three-run homer, have kept the softball team optimistic as they look forward.

April 4, 2016

Cornell Softball Wins Three Games After Roller Coaster Weekend

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­­The Cornell women’s softball team has found their footing after picking up wins in three of eight games over the past week. The team found success against George Washington and Harvard, but came up empty against Marist and Dartmouth.

This last stretch of four doubleheaders has been an improvement after the team only won once in their first 11 games. The team still sits with Princeton at the bottom of the South Division and posts a .200 winning percentage as they try to fix their defensive struggles.

Despite this, the Red has shown some promise as of late and have gained confidence going forward with their season.

“A lot of our wins came when we played better defensively,” said head coach Julie Farlow. “I think that is going to be a key component. Pitching is of course always important. Sometimes our pitchers are pitching well but our defense isn’t backing them up. So I think when we can put both those pieces together … we are finding more success.”

Last Tuesday, Cornell (4-16, 1-3 Ivy) marched into our nation’s capital and took both games in a doubleheader against George Washington (16-15, 5-1 A10). The Red won 9-7 and 7-6 in the pair of games.

The first game against the Colonials was highlighted by senior catcher Leanne Iannucc’’s three-run homer in the top of the seventh inning.

Following Iannucci’s lead, Rebecca Kubena knocked a grand slam in the first inning of the second game to put the Red out to a lead. They went on to hold that lead for the next nine innings and clinch the win.

After their success in Washington, Cornell travelled up the coast to face Marist (21-7, 2-0 MAAC). Unfortunately, the Red dropped both games against the Red Foxes by scores of 10-2 and 5-1, respectively.

“We are a team that can’t make a lot of mistakes, and when we do they are just compounded,” Farlow said. “Marist was a very fast team. They put pressure on us whenever they put people on base.”

Marist also stole nine bases in the doubleheader, which gave Cornell a difficult time defensively.

After the the Red finished their series with GW and Marist, the team returned to Ithaca hoping get back on track as they began Ivy League that weekend. Cornell squared off against the Crimson (12-13, 2-2 Ivy) on Hoy Field for the first home game of the season.

There was no joking around for the Red on this April Fools Day, as the team came out and won the first game, 8-6. But the Crimson fought back and took the second game of the day 9-1.

While Cornell was able to split the series with Harvard, the other Ivy opponent of the weekend did not give the Red have the slightest chance of winning. Dartmouth (15-9, 4-0) came to the hill ready to dominate. The Big Green beat Cornell in 5 innings both games, 12-4 and 16-3.

“They are a very good hitting team,” Farlow said. “They have been good and they continue to be good. And they are a team that you can’t make any mistakes against. They continued to hit the ball well. They threw the ball pretty well. And then we made mistakes so everything really compounded.”

Going forward, the team looks to get back on track by cleaning up their game and getting everyone healthy.

“One big thing is getting everybody healthy,” Farlow said. “We only have 16 and when three people are not available, you run out of options. ”

Farlow also noted that the team needs to work on making routine plays, but also has to be more aggressive on defense at the same time. She believes the style of play needs to change.

“Be loose and make plays,” she said.

Cornell continues out-of-conference play on Tuesday when they will take on Siena (12-11, 0-2 MAAC) in Loudonville.