Cornell softball secured one win over four games this weekend in a series loss to Penn. In the victory, freshman infielder Bridgette Rooney hit a walk-off home run in the ninth inning after Penn led 5-0 in the fourth inning.
The comeback win was an encouraging sign for a young team looking for positives to take into next season as the year winds down.
“The walk-off victory was a good boost for us,” said head coach Julie Farlow.
In Cornell’s three other games this past weekend, the Red (10-23-1, 4-12 Ivy) was outscored by a total of 23-6. Mistakes from pitching and fielding proved costly for Cornell as Penn (17-18, 8-8 Ivy) was able to break open leads in several long innings.
“The other losses were disappointing,” Farlow said. “We made some errors, walked batters, and those things come back to bite you.”
Despite the slanted run differential, Cornell kept the score close with Penn in the early innings of all three loses, but Penn rallied in later innings to close the door on Cornell.
“Overall these were competitive games over the weekend,” Farlow said. “I would’ve liked to have seen us pull out a few more wins.”
Cornell will now head across town to Ithaca College (23-7) Wednesday for a double header and then face Ivy League champion Princeton (21-16, 13-3) over the weekend on its home turf. Senior week will bring with it stiff competition for Cornell.
“We only have two seniors on the team and one of them is injured,” Farlow said.
Senior outfielders Michiko McGivney and Jessica Bigbie will be the only players who are honored. While the team will celebrate its seniors for their leadership and strong work ethic, focus will remain on developing Cornell’s young roster.
“As coaches, we are always looking ahead,” Farlow said. ”But, the difference this year is that all of our freshmen are competing consistently.”
Cornell’s young core will have to deal with stiff competition this week in Ithaca and Princeton. Both teams showcase solid pitching and a balanced lineup.
“It should be a very motivating week for us,” Farlow said. “Ithaca is a Division III powerhouse and Princeton has already claimed the championship in our league.”
Farlow is looking for better results from her pitching staff.
“Our pitching staff is young and they have to start being sharp all of the time,” Farlow said. “This starts with cutting down the number of walks and trusting our defense to make plays.”
But in general, Farlow is hoping to see more execution from everyone on the team. Cornell is hoping to build some momentum heading into next season after a rocky year.
“We need everyone to play a little bit [more] crisp[ly] and a little bit [more] sharp[ly],” Farlow said.
Quality performances against two talented teams in Ithaca and Princeton will provide the Red with an opportunity to gain some confidence before the season ends in the coming weeks.