Sophomore Bridgette Rooney got Cornell softball’s season off with a bang on Friday, crushing a seventh-inning grand slam to seal her team’s season-opening victory.
Rooney came to bat with teammates Madison Avery, Avery Voehl and Sarah Murray already positioned on first, second, and third bases, respectively.
“I have a lot of confidence when Bridgette comes up to the plate,” said Voehl. “So naturally I was pretty excited as a base runner.”
With two outs in the top of the seventh, Cornell was down by one run. Rooney’s at bat was the Red’s last chance to score, and she delivered.
“My dad always gave me the advice to swing hard, just in case I hit it,” Rooney said. “ I knew I had to give it my all for my team.”
In celebration of its victory, the team ran out of the dugout to greet their hero at home plate.
“It felt great to cross the plate, turn around, and help congratulate [Rooney].” Voehl said.
Rooney, who was last year’s Ivy League home run leader, began her preparation for the hit while she was still in the dugout.
“A lot of what happened with the grand slam came even before I got to the plate,” Rooney said. “I had to have the right mindset.”
Rooney’s mindset definitely paid off as Cornell entered the bottom of the seventh inning with a three-point lead over their competition.
The Wildcats responded with one run in the bottom of the seventh, but it was not enough. Cornell’s defense was too strong to overcome.
“Defense is incredibly important,” Voehl said. “It all comes down to supporting our pitcher.”
And support their pitcher they certainly did. Throughout the game the Red committed no errors, and sophomore pitcher Katie Lew walked just two batters.
The Red defeated the Wildcats once again on Saturday, but suffered three losses over the weekend from opponents Drexel, Stetson, and Tennessee State.
However, the Red earned something positive to focus on going forward. The victory was Cornell’s first to open a season since 2014.
“Winning game one set the tone for us,” said head coach Julie Farlow ’97. “[The team] knows what winning feels like and it’s the goal every time we play.”