Softball Surrenders Lead in 8-5 Setback at Cornell
April 3, 2003
Junior Erin Sweeney continued to find her power stroke, belting a pair of home runs, including a go-ahead grand slam, to lead the Cornell softball team to an 8-5 win over Siena under rainy and foggy conditions at NiemandĚRobison Field Thursday afternoon. All of the Big Red's runs came via round trippers, as junior Kate Varde hit her third home run of the season, a three-run shot in the fifth inning. With the win, Cornell raises its record to 13-3 and has now won five straight contests, Siena falls to 3-10. Game two of today's scheduled doubleheader was cancelled due to field conditions and darkness.
Cornell spotted the Saints a 2-0 lead, as the visiting team put one run up on the scoreboard in both the first and third innings. Carrie Gatz led off the game with a slap single that went no further than two feet after hitting in front of the plate. Two batters later, Sarah Rose collected the first of her three hits on the day with an RBI double to deep center field to plate Gatz.
Pitcher Tara Campbell started off a third-inning threat for Siena with a leadoff single. Getz would reach on a throwing error by Cornell shortstop Stephanie Foster, allowing Campbell to get to third base. Sterman would strike out the next batter, but on a steal attempt by Getz on strike three, the ensuing throw by Big Red catcher Melissa Heintz was accurate. However, neither middle infielder was there to catch the ball and Campbell scored to make it a 2-0 contest. Sterman got the next two Saint batters to pop-up to end the inning and keep it a two-run game.
Campbell allowed only one Cornell hit in her first four innings of work, but the lone hit was an opposite-field home run off the bat of Sweeney with one out in the third to cut the deficit to 2-1.
In the fifth inning, the Saints would get after Sterman again, as Campbell and Getz reached with a single and a walk, respectively. Rose followed two batters later with a single through the left side to load the bases before Adrian St. Cin ripped a two-run single up the middle to up the score to 4-1. After a single to left by Christa Fasano loaded the bases yet again, Sterman would get out of the jam on a force out at the plate and a fly out to center field.
Cornell would finally put together a rally against Campbell in the bottom of the fifth, as junior Melissa Cannon reached on an error by Siena shortstop Alyssa Scelfo, allowing Sweeney, who earlier got on base on a fielder's choice, to advance to second. With the rain coming down as hard as it had all day, Varde stepped up and delivered an offering from Campbell over the right field fence to knot the score at 4-4.
The Saints would respond quickly, loading the bases with one out on a single and a pair of walks in the top half of the sixth. Rose hit a sacrifice fly to center field to plate Campbell, making it a 5-4 contest before Fasano lined out to end the inning.
Campbell walked Heintz to open the bottom of the sixth before giving up the mound to reliever Tisha Salamino. Sophomore Erin Kizer and senior co-captain Drew Martin welcomed the pitching change by each hitting a single to fill up the bases for Sweeney. The junior stepped up and crushed a pitch over the fence in center field for her third home run in her past four at-bats.
With an 8-5 lead, Sterman retired all three batters she faced in the seventh inning to end the game and up her season record to 9-2. The junior hurler gave up four earned runs, issued three walks and struck out six batters. Salamino took the loss on the mound, pitching one inning and giving up three runs to fall to 1-5 on the season. Campbell, who went 3-for-3 with three runs, pitched five innings and gave up five runs, two earned, and recorded four walks and five strikeouts.