Cornell split a series of four games at the George Mason Invitational in Fairfax, Va., last weekend, which wound up becoming its season finale. The Red took home victories in the first two games before suffering consecutive defeats to cap off the weekend.
In the first game, freshman Mia Burd led the Red (4-5) to a 4-1 victory over Buffalo (2-8). Burd threw a complete game, allowing just one hit and one unearned run while striking out five.
“I really focused on staying ahead in counts,” Burd said. “Being able to stay ahead of hitters keeps them off balance.”
The game was scoreless until the fourth inning, when consecutive Buffalo errors allowed the Red to plate sophomore Hanna Crist. From there, Cornell never relinquished the lead. It added another run in the fourth when a groundball allowed freshman Celia Macari to score after she had reached third on a triple, and they tacked on two more for insurance in the seventh courtesy of a bases-loaded walk and a sacrifice fly.
Another freshman toed the rubber in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, a 6-3 win over Hofstra (2-13). Gabrielle Maday pitched five innings, allowing just one earned run before being relieved by Burd.
“It was nice to have a lot of help offensively,” Maday said. “It’s a lot easier to pitch when you know that your offense is scoring runs … and the defense was able to make a lot of plays, which was really helpful.”
At the plate, the Red broke out for a four-run second inning. Macari kicked off the scoring with an RBI double and senior co-captain Bridgette Rooney followed up two batters late with a three-run homer.
The offensive outburst did not carry over to the second game, as Cornell fell, 9-1, to host George Mason (4-9). The hosts got to senior Katie Lew early, tagging her for five runs in the first. The Red’s lone run came via a solo shot off the bat of Macari.
Macari finished the weekend 6-for-14 with five runs and two RBI’s, which was enough to earn her an honorable mention in the weekly Ivy League awards.
“It felt nice to have a good weekend,” Macari said. “I tried to go out there, stay loose and have some fun with it.”
The Red’s offensive struggles continued on Sunday, when they lost, 4-2, to Canisius (8-9). Crist knocked in two with a double in the first, but the bats went quiet the rest of the way, recording just one more hit.
In the circle, Burd cruised through three frames before getting pulled with one out in the fourth after allowing three runs. Maday went the rest of the way, allowing one run on two hits through two and two-thirds innings of work.
The pair of freshmen combined to pitch 20 of the Red’s 25.2 innings over the course of the weekend.
“It’s nice to know we have each other to back us up if things aren’t going our way,” Burd said.
“We all bring something different to the table in terms of our pitches, so it’s good to have a wide variety of things that we can use against batters,” Maday said.
The tournament marked the end of Cornell’s 2020 campaign, as the Ivy League announced it would cancel all spring sports as a precaution due to the COVID-19 outbreak.