Cornell women’s softball battled Princeton over the weekend and secured two wins against the top team in the South Division. The wins were an encouraging sign for a young Cornell team that is at the bottom of the division.
“I was very excited about how we played against Princeton,” said head coach Julie Farlow. “They are going to be playing in the Ivy League championship so to come away with two wins gives us some confidence.”
Although Cornell (13-27-1, 6-14 Ivy) dropped the first game of the series 1-0, freshman pitcher Lisa Nelson was dominant on the mound for the Red. Nelson lasted seven and two-thirds innings and struck out three while holding Princeton (23-18, 15-5 Ivy) to just one run. But Cornell could not muster any run support for Nelson and Princeton won in extra innings.
The second game of the series also featured outstanding pitching from Cornell. Junior pitcher Maddie Orcutt threw seven shutout innings for the Red. Three runs were enough for Cornell to win 3-0.
“We pitched well and played really good defense,” Farlow said. “I thought that was a good way to end the Ivy League season.”
Game three was a slightly different story, with both teams bringing the bats in a back-and-forth game. Junior infielder Megan Murray added three hits in four at bats and also scored and drove in a run. Sophomore catcher Madeline Avery and junior infielder Rebecca Kubena also had two hits on the day for the Red.
Cornell trailed early, but a nine run inning in the sixth inning propelled the Red to a 9-7 victory.
“We’ve had a lot of growth and development over the year and it was nice to put that together and have some positive results,” Farlow said. “We almost beat Princeton three times.”
In the final game of the series, Cornell lost 5-0, but Farlow was excited about how her team performed.
“We’re a young team that is graduating just two players,” Farlow said. “A lot of the players who helped us this year will be helping us again next year.”
Cornell’s young team will hopefully gain confidence after proving that it has the ability to hang with one of the best teams in the conference.
As Cornell turns its attention to a talented Syracuse team, the Red will need to bring an edge.
“Syracuse is going to be really tough,” Farlow said. “They’re having a fantastic year and they hit the ball very well so they’ll be a type of opponent that we haven’t seen all year.”
Playing against a talented team like Syracuse late in the season will be a valuable experience for Cornell’s younger players. A quality performance would provide even more confidence for a team looking to carry over some positives into next season.