It was a tough weekend for Cornell softball. The Red was swept in four games against the Penn Quakers, but stayed resilient throughout the series up until the final inning Sunday, just as the team had done all season.
In seventh and final inning of the fourth game of the series, Cornell (8-28, 3-13 Ivy) set out to comeback from a four run deficit.
Cornell started the inning with the top of their order and managed to get three straight runners on with no outs. Unfortunately, the Red was only able to muster up two more runs.
“I thought we bounced back and played better on Sunday, but still not quite good enough,” said head coach Julie Farlow ’97. “We threw the ball pretty well and hit the ball pretty well Sunday, but we had some defensive miscues that [Penn] took full advantage of.”
While the effort was strong, it was not enough. The Quakers (21-19, 7-9 Ivy) would finish the series in a sweep, winning the final game, 5-3.
Sunday featured the Red’s best pitching of the weekend. Notably, Sophomore Maddie Orcutt pitched six innings, letting up six hits and five earned runs.
“I think certainly for the second game, [the key] was Maddie’s pitching,” Farlow said. “[Maddie] threw one of her better games this year. In the first game, [Meg] Parker threw pretty well. We didn’t have a lot of hits … but she kind of kept us right in the game by throwing well on the mound.”
Both the pitching and attitude of the team improved in the back end of the series.
“Pitching was a little sharper on day two,” Farlow said. “What’s good about the game is that no matter how the day goes previously, you start zero to zero. It was just a different energy level by Sunday.”
Saturday was without a doubt the lowpoint of the weekend for the Red, specifically on the defensive side of the ball. Penn scored 20 runs in the two games alone on Saturday.
“We really didn’t play too well on Saturday,” Farlow said. “Penn handled us pretty easily.”
The Quaker’s Alexis Sargent was a nuisance for Cornell over the series. In the first game, Sargent pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing only three hits to the Red.
“We had a tough time offensively adjusting to Sargent’s pitching and that hurt us a bit since we typically have produced a lot of runs to help our pitchers out this season,” said junior outfielder Jessica Bigbie.
Then, in the final game where Cornell was on the verge of evening the score, Penn brought in Sargent for the final three outs and once again stifled their opponent’s offense.
“[Sargent] came in and shut us down at the end,” Farlow said.
Despite the Red’s lack of success against Sargent and the Quakers, Bigbie and her team are still taking a positive approach.
“Though the results may not reflect it, we did a lot of good things this weekend,” Bigbie said. “We just have to keep working hard and capitalizing when we make those great plays and getting those clutch hits.”
There were some positive results from the weekend, as Cornell’s performance improved as the weekend went on. The Red outhit Penn in the final game.
Despite the fact that her team is eliminated, Bigbie and the rest of the Red are taking a simple and positive approach.
“The end of the season is always bittersweet, no matter how it went overall,” Bigbie said. “We are definitely focusing on getting wins and increasing our level of play overall, however what’s most important at this point is remembering why we love this game so much and simply having fun with it.”
Farlow has been more than pleased with her team’s resiliency despite the less than ideal season.
“I’ve been so impressed by their effort, by their motivation, by their attitude,” Farlow said. “This can be a year where you are just dragging out practices, and they have done anything but that.”
With this past weekend in the books, Cornell will be able to move on from this disappointing weekend quickly with an out-of-conference matchup against Colgate on the slate Tuesday.