Aaron Snyder/Sun Staff Writer

April 13, 2023

Softball Unable to Topple Brown in Three-Game Bout

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Following a 1-2 series result against Yale (14-15, 7-5 Ivy) at home, an 0-2 series result at Mount St. Mary’s (19-14) in Maryland and a loss at Marist College (16-19) throughout spring break, the Red (9-17, 3-6 Ivy) completed the 307-mile voyage from Niemand-Robison Field to Brown Softball Field in order to battle the Bears (9-20, 5-7 Ivy). The Red last arrived at its Ivy rival’s home in April 2018 where Cornell, as the visitors, swept Brown in all three games. 

The game on Friday saw a triple in the bottom of the first from the Bears that sent one runner back home to open the scoreline. A single that drove in two baserunners and a sacrifice bunt that advanced the runner back to home plate extended Brown’s lead to 4-0 in the subsequent inning, a common scenario for the Red — who  has dealt with early in-game trails and daunting comeback wins this season.

“The kids stay focused, and [that] they don’t get too high nor low on emotion,” said Head Coach Julie Farlow ’97. “The players probably have realized how many comebacks they’ve pulled this season…and [the players] want to keep striving till the last out.” 

The Red prevented a shutout when a sacrifice fly from freshman infielder Ella Harrod allowed senior catcher Celia Macari to reach home in the top of the fourth inning. At the top of the fifth, senior infielder Maicie Levitt responded to a full count by swatting the ball to right center field for a home run to make the scoreline 4-2. Unfortunately for the Red, the Bears were able to secure a victory in Brown Softball Field against Cornell for the first time since April 9, 2016.

After two scoreless innings in the first round of Saturday’s doubleheader, the Bears took advantage of two back-to-back doubles to drive home one baserunner in the bottom of the third. A third consecutive hit from Brown’s leadoff hitter in the order not only progressed the batter onto first base but also advanced the runner from second base to home plate. After a groundout and a bunt single that turned into an out after the runner was tagged before safely reaching second base, this same leadoff hitter was able to score a run to give Brown a three-run margin.

Cornell began chipping away at this deficit in the top of the fourth inning when freshman catcher/infielder Lauren Holt sent a moonshot beyond left center field. With this four-bagger, Holt is tied with Penn’s Lauren Perren for the Ivy League’s home run leader this season, with five runs apiece. 

Shortly after hitting a triple, Kate Callaway, the freshman outfielder that Farlow noted as one of the “impressive freshmen who has come up big for the team,” reduced Brown’s lead to 3-2 in the top of the fifth inning. Callaway took advantage of a wild pitch to score the Red’s second run of the game. Despite these two unanswered runs from Cornell, the Bears maintained its one-run gap to get its second win of the series.

Unlike the previous encounters, the Red drew blood first in the top of the second inning of Saturday’s second game. After having been walked, having advanced to second base thanks to a single from junior infielder Lilly Travieso, and having dashed to third base when a passed ball occurred, sophomore infielder Emma Antich was able to reach home comfortably when senior infielder/outfielder Julie Hilcken hit a single that went just past the infield.

However, a two-run homer to left field in the bottom of the second granted the Bears the lead. In the bottom of the third inning, the Bears added to this margin when a ground ball skipped out the Cornell third baseman’s glove, which allowed the Brown runner on second base to advance back home and the hitter to run all the way to second base.

Cornell narrowed the gap in the top of the fourth inning when Antich crushed a ball well beyond right center field. Antich became one of five Red players this season with at least four home runs. Travieso waited on third base to touch home plate to equalize for Cornell, but a foul out and a groundout in consecutive at-bats halted her chance of doing so in this inning.

This missed opportunity ultimately proved to be costly as this was the last time a Cornell runner was in scoring position for the duration of the game. Brown held onto the 3-2 scoreline for an important victory that ensured it remained in sixth place in the Ivy League standings, whereas Cornell is currently in seventh place.

Cornell, with a current home record of 1-3, will face Princeton (17-14, 10-2 Ivy) at Niemand-Robison Field. This Saturday will see a doubleheader beginning at 12:30 p.m., and the third game will be on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. All games will be broadcast on ESPN+.

Sean Cabrera is a Sun contributing writer. He can be reached at [email protected].