Softball kicks off conference play 1-3 against Princeton, Cornell

Bruno offense combines for eight home runs in one-win weekend against conference opponents

Staff Writer
Sunday, April 2, 2017

Before spring break, the softball team was riding a five-game win streak, but two losses to Princeton and a defeat at Cornell have brought that stretch to an end.

Brown (9-16, 1-3 Ivy) opened conference play at Princeton (11-11, 4-0) Saturday. During the first of two games, the Tigers attacked early, scoring three runs in the first inning and one in the second. A solo home run from Kaitlin Okimoto ’20 in the fourth inning appeared to be the start of a late comeback. Annie McGregor ’18 hit another solo home run, making the score 4-2, and Okimoto brought the Bears within one run of the home team in the top of the sixth. Bruno held Princeton at four runs for the remainder of the game but was unable to maintain momentum in the seventh, falling to the Tigers 4-3.

“It was kind of rough losing it in that close of a game,” Okimoto said. “We really just wanted to come out hard and play for each other and the coaches.”

The second game of the series was cut short as Princeton scored 10 unanswered runs, resulting in a mercy rule finish in the fifth. The Bears gave up two runs in the first, but held the Tigers scoreless for three and a half innings. In the bottom of the fourth, Princeton brought home eight runners and smothered any chance of a comeback.

The next day, Bruno took to Niemand-Robison Field to battle the Big Red (6-9, 1-3). Brown trailed 2-0 after the second inning, but tied the score during the third with a hit from Okimoto and a home run from Raquel Blanchard ’20. Cornell went up by one in the bottom of the fifth, but Cat Seitz’s ’19 solo home run tied the score once again. Okimoto and Julia Schoenewald ’17 followed with RBI singles to make the score 5-3. Despite a late home run from Cornell, the Bears were able to hold onto their lead, claiming their first Ivy win with a 5-4 victory.

The final game of the weekend remained scoreless until the sixth when Christina Andrews ’17 knocked a two-run homer into centerfield. Cornell evened the score with two runs late in the seventh, forcing the game into an extra inning. Andrews broke the tie and upped her career home run total to nine with a shot to left-center, but the Big Red responded with two runs in the bottom of the frame to end the game 4-3.

“All of us were hitting really hard,” Seitz said. “We played hard both games. The second one didn’t turn out as we wanted it to, but we played well. We stay together when things are going really well and when things aren’t going our way. If we continue to do that, we’re going to keep getting better.”

The Bears will take a brief break from Ivy play with a game against Providence College Wednesday before facing off against Columbia in a double-header Friday. All three games will be played at Murray Stadium.

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