As far as crooked numbers go, 11 is straight like as an arrow. On Wednesday, Cornell softball sent 14 batters to the plate and scored 11 runs in one inning. It was the exclamation point on an all-around successful doubleheader sweep against Albany (21-10, 7-0 American East) at Niemand*Robinson Field. Cornell (6-20, 1-7 Ivy) won the first game, 6-3, and the second game, 14-2.
After the game, Cornell head coach Julie Farlow ’97 told her players that if it took them until mid-April to reach what they were capable of, that was OK.
“I think we played well all day long,” Farlow said. “It was one of the few times this year when everything just gelled together. … [Wednesday] wasn’t a fluke, and I think it can be a turning point.”
Cornell scored first in both games. According to outfielder and game two starting pitcher, senior Meg Parker, jumping ahead is very important because it sets the tone for the rest of the game.
“We always try to score first and hold the lead,” Parker said. “Jumping ahead in the game provides momentum and confidence throughout the game.”
Cornell scored in each of the first three innings, but a big part of game one was the shutdown pitching by sophomore Maddie Orcutt. Parker said she was very impressed with her outing.
“Maddie pitched awesome,” Parker said. “One earned run in seven innings and she’s only getting better.”
Senior Emily Weinberg had similarly positive things to say about Orcutt.“Maddie pitched very well — probably one of her best performances of the season,” Weinberg said. “She was hitting her spots and getting batters to hit the balls to our defense.”
Cornell held on for the 6-3 win. And so the Red played two, as Ernie Banks would implore.
The Red one-upped its start to game one by scoring three times in the first inning of game two to make it 3-1. In the bottom of the second, the cogs of the Cornell Softball Machine fired up and turned over 11 times.
“It’s obviously nice to have a big lead early on in the game,” Weinberg said. “It was great to see everyone hitting the ball throughout the lineup. It definitely gives us a lot of confidence going into the South division this weekend.”
Not forgotten amidst an offensive outpour that cut the game short by rule at five innings was the pitching performance of Parker. She gave up two runs on two hits and three walks in five innings.
“Meg was fantastic,” Farlow said. “She probably had her best game of the year.”
Wednesday was an all-positive game, and Cornell now looks ahead to South Ivy rival Columbia (8-24, 2-6 Ivy), who is coming to town this weekend for four games. According to Farlow, the Red is very familiar with the Lions in part because the two play so often each season, and in part because this year’s team has had relatively little turnover from years past.
“They’re going to be a very similar team to what we’ve seen in the past,” Farlow said. “They’re generally just a pretty steady ball club.”
Farlow believes her team can use its familiarity with the Lions’ pitchers returning from last season to their advantage. At the same time, Columbia is ahead of the Red in the standings so far.
“They’re hitting the ball well,” Farlow said. “Their pitching is something we can try to attack.”
After an excellent week, Cornell is hoping the Machine’s cogs keep on turning.