Softball title caps banner year in Cornell athletics
Volleyball, basketball, and then softball.
Cornell completed a rare Midwest Conference (MWC) sweep of the three major women’s sports with a 9–0 rout of Lawrence in the championship game of the MWC Softball Tournament May 5 in Appleton, Wis.
It was a banner year for Cornell women’s athletics, starting with an unbeaten MWC title run by Jeff Meeker’s volleyball squad and continuing with a historic 25–2 conference championship campaign by Brent Brase’s women’s basketball team.
Shanda Ness’ softball club capped the championship trifecta with a late-season charge that featured a 10-inning win at Illinois College on the final day of league play. That victory propelled the Rams into the MWC Tournament—their first such appearance since 1992—on a divisional tiebreaker for second place in the South.
Only two other times in MWC history has a women’s program claimed conference tournament titles in volleyball, basketball, and softball in the same academic year: St. Norbert in 2009–10 and Lake Forest in 2001–02.
The last time Cornell won at least three conference team titles in the same school year was 1988–89 (women’s cross country, volleyball, men’s indoor and outdoor track and field).
Cornell outscored its three opponents in the MWC Softball Tournament by a convincing 24–5 margin. The Rams went 0–2 in the Pella Regional, although they gave host and eventual champion Central its toughest test of the tournament in a 1–0 eight-inning loss in the first round.
Junior Jackie Sernek, Co-Pitcher of the Year in the MWC South Division, earned a spot on the Pella Regional All-Tournament Team. Sophomore first baseman Kari Martin garnered third team all-region honors for the Rams, who finished two wins shy of the school record at 23–16.