Entering the final stretch of the season, the Cornell softball team split two games against Ithaca College on Wednesday.
Cornell (11-25-1, 4-12-0 Ivy) secured a 2-0 win in the first game, but dropped to the Bombers (26-8) in a 2-1 decision in the second. For the Red, the games represented the team’s lackluster season.
“The games against Ithaca were both tough and eye-opening,” said junior pitcher Maddie Orcutt. “[However] the performance that we gave as a team and our season record as a whole does not reflect our talent, skill level, or effort that we have put into preparing for the season.”
Entering the matchup, the Red were quite aware of the challenges the Bombers would pose.
“They’re a really strong team that competes at the world series almost every season, so we knew it would help us prepare for the upcoming weekend,” said sophomore catcher Tori Togashi.
With the acknowledgement of its opponent’s prowess, Cornell played the first match as one would have hoped. After both teams struggled to record any runs after five innings, sophomore Megan Murray put the Red on the board for its first run. A RBI single by Togashi helped the Red plate a second run, and two strikeouts by freshman Katie Lew in the seventh inning sealed the game.
However, despite an outstanding performance in the first match, the Red was unable to get it done in the following one. While freshman Bridgette Roony hit the Red’s solo run, Cornell was unable to stop Ithaca’s Shannon Grage, who scattered five hits and struck out four.
While the Red left with a sense of dissatisfaction with its performance, there were several bright spots during its matchup. In particular, Orcutt, pitching in the second game, recorded a statline of 6.0 innings pitched, 2 strikeouts and a 0 earned run average.
“While statistically I may have given a pretty good performance in the second game, at the end of the day we still lost,” Orcutt said. “I am not satisfied with both my performance or the result, and the same can be said when reflecting on the season.”
Looking ahead, the Red will face Princeton (21-16, 13-3) this weekend in the Ivy League competition. Playing in two doubleheaders against the Tigers, the Red will prepare for the Princeton team by focusing on limiting Princeton’s offensive opportunities.
“Princeton is a well-rounded team and are leading the league in many offensive categories,” said head coach Julie Farlow. “We’ll have to play much better than they did on Wednesday in order to compete with them. Our offense will need to be aggressive and we’ll have to play solid defense.”
In particular, the team will focus on its opponent’s strong batting, pitching and fielding percentages — all statistical categories in which the Tigers hold the best record for in the Ivy League.
“We need to come out and play our game, and not worry about [Princeton’s] accolades,” Togashi said. “We have continued to show improvement throughout the year [and] if we stay true to our game plan, we should have a successful weekend.”