For their second invite of the season, Cornell softball traveled to Emmetsburg, Maryland to play Mount St. Mary’s and Morgan State University in the Mount St. Mary’s Invite. The Red (1-6, 0-0 Ivy) lost to both Mount St. Mary’s (6-11), 2-3, and Morgan State (6-7), 0-8 in 6 innings.
But it’s not always a swing and a miss. As senior infielder Emily McKinney stated, the players are just really just happy to finally be back and playing.
“It didn’t go how we wanted it to go, but we’ve been practicing for two years basically, so any chance to play other competition is always exciting,” McKinney said.
The spring season had barely started by the time Cornell shut down athletics in March 2020. The Red had only played nine games when the season got cut short, four wins and five losses. The seven seniors haven’t played a full season since their freshman year, and for most players, this season will be their first full college season.
“Being pent up and practicing indoors for two years now, I’m basically just excited to get outside and get playing again,” McKinney said.
Of the 19 softball players on the team, seven are seniors and one is a graduate student. With a large graduating cohort, the team makeup will drastically change in the coming year.
“As a senior, I’m obviously heading out, so one of my personal goals is making a team where the younger girls and the underclassmen feel like it’s their team,” McKinney said.
Only McKinney and sophomore center field Marisa Zorrilla made runs over the weekend, but the match against Mount St. Mary’s was tight, with the Red just falling behind in the seventh after staying a point ahead for much of the game.
“Our pitching has been phenomenal, and our defense is also looking great,” McKinney said. “Offensively we have not executed as well, but we’re all confident in ourselves and our swings. If we just stick to our swings and our game then the runs and the hits will come eventually.”
This weekend, the Red will play three teams in the Penn State Tournament: Rider University, University of Massachusetts Lowell and Penn State. However, the Red’s first Ivy matchup in three years will be at home on Niemand-Robison Softball Field against Columbia at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 26. This will be the first home game for Cornell softball since 2019.