The Red (16-26, 9-12 Ivy) sought to extend its three-game win streak and clinch fifth place in the conference standings last weekend. Dartmouth (14-25, 8-13 Ivy) needed at least two wins in Niemand-Robison Field on Saturday, May 6, and Sunday, May 7 to secure fifth place.
Cornell wasted no time putting runs on the board in the opening game of the series. After a bunt single from senior infielder Maicie Levitt and a single from senior catcher Celia Macari, the Red had two runners on with two outs. The Red was able to cash in, courtesy of a two-run double from freshman designated hitter Lauren Holt in the bottom of the first. Holt was able to drive in Levitt once more for the third run of the game when she hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third.
The Big Green was able to put up just five total hits in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, with senior pitcher Gabrielle Maday pitching a complete game shutout. Maday ended the game with three strikeouts and handed Cornell its first shutout win in conference contention since its May 6, 2018 game against Princeton.
In the second game of the doubleheader, Macari’s sacrifice fly scored freshman outfielder Kate Callaway to give Cornell a 1-0 lead in the first inning. The Red would put up five more runs in the bottom of the third.
With the bases loaded, Macari drew a walk, allowing Callaway to score for the second time in the game. With two runners in scoring position, Holt had her second two-run double of the series, driving in Levitt and sophomore infielder Emma Antich. Junior infielder Lilly Travieso kept the runs coming with a line drive, two-RBI single that advanced Macari and Holt to the dish.
The Red continued to show its offensive prowess in the bottom of the fourth. After Callaway reached first base on a throwing error, stole second base and then advanced to third base on a wild pitch, she scored off of a one-run single from Levitt. Holt whacked her third run-scoring double of the series that drove in Levitt. Freshman outfielder Sydney Stapf returned the favor to Holt with an RBI double. Senior outfielder Julie Hilcken’s RBI base hit allowed Stapf to score the tenth run of the game.
Dartmouth needed to score at least three runs in the top of the fifth to avoid the eight-run mercy rule. Although the Big Green prevented a second consecutive shutout with a one-run single, it was not able to generate two more runs. This 10-1 win featured the team’s largest margin of victory of the season. The last time the Red won with a nine-run gap was on April 20, 2019, which ended with a 13-4 victory against Dartmouth.
With fifth place already clinched, the Red was hoping to end the season with its second straight series sweep. The Big Green aimed to avoid a sweep by Cornell, which last occurred in 2012.
Darrtmouth caught the home team by surprise when the first two hitters hit back-to-back one-baggers and then executed a double steal in the top of the first. Afterward, the three-hole hit a sac fly to score one run. An RBI bunt single in the following at-bat gave the Big Green an early two-run lead.
Cornell cut down this Dartmouth advantage in the bottom of the second when Holt sent a moonshot beyond left field to become the sole home run champion in the Ivy League regular season with nine round-trippers.
The next inning saw freshman infielder Ella Harrod utilize her speed to score the tying run for Cornell. She made it to second base when the ball was subsequently thrown out of play, which gave her time to make it safely to home plate.
Tied at 2-2, the game required extra innings to determine a victor due to stellar pitching and fielding on both squads. From the bottom of the fourth, Cornell only had one runner in scoring position when Macari advanced to second base in the bottom of the sixth after Holt was walked.
The Red was just one out away from retiring the Big Green in the top of the eighth when a costly error allowed the baserunner on second to make it all the way home to give Dartmouth the advantage. An RBI double and an RBI single in the successive at-bats gave the Big Green a 5-2 lead over Cornell. A 1-2-3 inning handed the Red a loss on its Senior Day.
With this 2-1 series result, Cornell obtained fifth place in the Ivy League, tied for its highest finish since 2018. The Red’s overall winning percentage of .381 is the team’s best since 2015, when it ended with a percentage of .415. For the second time in four years, Cornell ended the season as the Ivy League team with the most home runs with 34. Likewise, the Red’s pitching staff had 162 strikeouts, the third most in the conference. The seniors on the Cornell softball team include Mia Burd, Julie Hilcken, Maicie Levitt, Celia Macari and Gabrielle Maday.