Courtesy of Eldon Lindsay / Cornell Athletics

It was solid pitching and extra-base hits that turned the tide for the Red in game two.

April 24, 2019

Softball Splits Doubleheader with Ithaca College

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Punching below its weight in a crosstown matchup, Cornell probably hoped for better.

Cornell (8-31, 3-11 Ivy) headed across town to take on Division III powerhouse No. 14 Ithaca College (22-6-1,10-0 Liberty) in a midweek matchup with mixed results.

The Red dropped its first contest on Tuesday, 3-2, against the Bombers but came back to take the second game of the evening, 6-3.

“The team put together 14 innings of quality play,” assistant coach Janet Maguire said. “It started in the circle with the pitching staff executing each pitch and taking the Ithaca hitters out of their rhythm, especially in some key moments.”

That pitching played a key role in the doubleheader is an encouraging sign for a Red pitching staff that has struggled with injuries all season. Junior Lisa Nelson returned to the mound in game one for the Red after battling a season-long lower leg injury, and freshman Ashley Delany pitched in game two.

After a narrow loss in game one, the Red remained composed to rally back and win game two.

“Even in game one when we had some miscues behind them,” Maguire said, “they did not waiver. [Freshman] catcher Emily Muniz was instrumental in their success. She was a wall behind the dish and set the tempo for the game.”

The Red kicked off game two with a leadoff home run from freshman Miranda Lawson. Cornell managed to put its seven hits to good use, scoring six thanks to timely hitting. Freshman Hanna Crist drove in three RBIs with two doubles. In addition to earning the win on the mound, Delany tallied her first career home run in the game.

“Offensively, we made adjustments in each game to take advantage of our opportunities to score,” Maguire said. “It was a total team effort on both sides of the ball.”

The Red will continue to learn from its mistakes and will be back in action this weekend as it returns to Ancient Eight play. Cornell will welcome Princeton (13-21, 8-6 Ivy) to Niemand-Robison field as it honors its lone senior Olivia Lam in her last home series for the Red.

“Our offense has demonstrated throughout the season that we are capable of hitting with just about any opponent,” Maguire said. “When we piece that together with strong pitching performances and sound defense, we can put ourselves in a position to win.”

First pitches are slated for 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m on Saturday and 12:30 p.m. on Sunday.