Cornell softball lost five games against three foes this weekend at the George Mason Invitational in Fairfax, Virginia.
Despite dropping those five, the members of the Red (1-13) said they saw improvement over the course of the tournament.
“We keep getting better each weekend,” said junior infielder Bridgette Rooney. “The overall team attitude on the field has grown tremendously since we first started playing.”
Competition began Friday with an afternoon game against George Mason University (7-12). The Red lost, 6-1.
Cornell took an early lead with a run by junior infielder Erin Rockstroh in the first inning, batted in with a single by Rooney’s younger sister, freshman infielder Olivia Rooney. But that would be Cornell’s only run of the tilt, as the Patriots earned the win with a steady stream of runs throughout the remaining innings.
Freshman outfielder Hanna Crist also had a single for the Red, but a career-high 13 strikeouts for the Patriot’s Bekah Ansbro limited Cornell to those two hits.
Junior Katie Lew and freshman Ashley Delany split the pitching for Cornell.
On Saturday, Cornell lost, 4-2, to Sacred Heart University (12-8), its smallest loss margin of the tournament.
B. Rooney was very productive at the plate, hitting two doubles and a single in three at-bats. Rockstroh, as well as two freshmen — infielder Allison Kerce and catcher Emily Muniz — each had a hit.
Delany and Lew struck out a combined six batters, a season high for the Red, and allowed only one walk.
These showings, however, still were not enough to win the game for Cornell. The Pioneers had nine hits to the Red’s six, and though both teams committed three errors, the Pioneers capitalized better on the other team’s defensive miscues and managed to steal five bases. Sacred Heart’s two hits in the bottom of the fifth sealed the game, as the remaining innings were scoreless.
Later in the day, the Red fell, 11-1, to East Carolina (16-10) in five innings.
Despite some highlights from freshmen — with a home run by Crist and a couple of hits by Kerce — the Pirates’ offense was too much to overcome. The Pirate’s ten-run lead by the fifth inning forced the mercy rule, cutting the competition short.
Lew and Delany again pitched for the Red.
On Sunday, Cornell faced and lost to both teams again, falling to Sacred Heart 7-4 this time, and East Carolina 10-0.
Even so, it was another day of impressive statistics for the Red’s freshmen. Up against the Pioneers, Kerce led The Red’s offense with two doubles, a walk and an RBI. Freshman infielder Miranda Lawson also hit a double and an RBI, classmate and fellow infielder Emily McKinney had a hit and a walk, and both Rooney sisters drove in runs as well.
The Red led 3-2 after the fifth inning, but East Carolina finished strong with 3 runs in the sixth and two more in the seventh. The Pioneers secured the win despite committing three errors, while the Red had none.
Later in the day, The Red again lost to East Carolina by a ten-run margin, but this time made it through all seven innings.
The first three innings were scoreless and hitless, but East Carolina broke open scoring with a run in the fourth and five more in the fifth.
The Red’s three hits were no match for the Pioneers’ fourteen.
Junior Lisa Nelson pitched the first five innings and Delany took the last two.
The Red will begin Ivy play this weekend with three games against Brown (5-7) at home. This will also serve as the Red’s 2019 home opener.
“League play … is where everything matters the most, so staying focused while enjoying the game will get us ready,” B. Rooney said. “A good night’s rest in our own beds versus another night on the road won’t hurt, either.”