ITHACA, NEW YORK – The Brown softball team (6-11, 0-3 Ivy League) battled through rainy conditions this afternoon and put together a dynamic offensive effort late in the game, but the Bears fell just short, dropping an 8-5 decision to the Cornell Big Red (11-14, 2-1 Ivy League) in today's league contest on Niemand Robison Field.
"Sam threw well in relief," said head coach Katie Flynn. "I was happy with our offensive effort in the last two innings. We need to be more opportunistic in earlier innings."
The Big Red earned their way onto the board early in the game, scoring a run in the bottom of the first. With one out against Cornell, Meg Parker was walked, sending her to first base. She advanced to both second and third, each on a wild pitch, and then Christina Villalon sent a single to right field to bring her home and put the Big Red up, 1-0.
Two consecutive home runs in the bottom of the second padded Cornell's lead, as both Jenny Edwards and Erin Belles sent shots over the fence in centerfield to give Brown a 3-0 disadvantage.
Scoring continued for the home team in the next inning, sparked by Kristin Towne's double to center field. Edwards joined her on base after being walked, and then Lauren Bucolo sent a double to left center to bring Towne home. Linda Laeufer followed that up with a single to left field, bringing in another run for the Big Red, and Emily Weinberg concluded a big inning with a single to shortstop that drove Bucolo in, giving Cornell a 6-0 lead over Brown as the teams headed into the fourth inning.
The Big Red would score once more before the Bears fought their way back into the game, as Edwards homered for the second time, sending a blast to right field in the bottom of the fourth.
Down 7-0, a run in the top of the sixth sparked the visiting team. Sophomore Kelsey Hom (Santa Monica, CA) began the play when she was walked, and then junior Danielle Palms (Smithfield, RI) came in to pinch run. Junior Kelsey Williams (Greenwood, IN) singled, sending Palms to second, and then junior Jen Kries (Mission Viejo, CA) followed suit, driving her home with a single to left field.
Another Cornell home run by Parker put the home team up, 8-1, at the bottom of the sixth, but Brown scored a slew of runs in the top of the seventh to make the game much more interesting. Senior co-captain Stephanie Thompson (Chino, CA) registered the first hit of the inning for the Bears, sending a single through the left side, and then advanced to third on an out and a wild pitch. Freshman Janet Leung (Mississauga) brought Thompson home, reaching on a fielder's choice. Williams followed that with a single to center field to score senior Lauren Kattchee (Houston, TX), who was pinch running for sophomore Trista Chavez (San Pedro, CA), and then Kries tripled to right field to bring in two more runs for the Bears.
Brown's impressive seventh inning effort was not enough however, as Cornell earned the 8-5 Ivy League victory. Kries led the Bears offensively, going 2-for-4 with a triple and three RBIs. Thompson and Williams were also 2-for-4 with a run each, while Willams contributed an RBI. Sophomore Jessica Cherness (Torrance, CA) received the loss for the Bears, allowing eight hits and six runs in her 2.1 innings on the mound, while sophomore Sam Brady (Vienna, VA) was solid in relief, giving up only five hits and two runs in 3.2 innings.
The two teams were scheduled to play a doubleheader, but the rainy conditions made a second game today impossible. Brown will remain in Ithaca for another night to play the second contest in the series, with action set to begin at 11:00am on Monday, April 1st.