A spring of near-misses concluded Sunday for Cornell's young softball team, falling 4-3 and 6-1 to Midwest Conference Tournament qualifier Monmouth in the regular-season finale.
The Rams finished the campaign at 8-27 overall, 6-10 in the MWC. The tight Game 1 loss was the team's sixth by two runs or less this season.
Cornell held a 3-2 lead through five innings in the opener, thanks to a two-run double by Miranda Keith in the top of the fifth. The Fighting Scots (13-20 overall, 10-4 MWC) struck back for two runs in the sixth, scoring what proved to be the winner on a wild pitch with two outs.
Marissa Faletti represented the tying run on third base in the top of the seventh when the game ended. Faletti, the team's lone senior, finished 3-for-4 at the plate with a run. Caitlin Babcock added two hits for the Rams.
Alyssa Pearson (5-14) went the distance in the pitching circle, striking out three and walking one.
The difference in Game 2 came during Monmouth's five-run fourth inning. The Fighting Scots plated four of the runs with two outs.
Erin Puck accounted for Cornell's two hits in the game. The junior went 2-for-2 and scored the team's only run on a sacrifice fly from Faletti in the sixth.
Skylar McCartney-Puzio (3-4) took the pitching loss. Eva Stewart tossed 2.1 scoreless innings in relief.
Earlier in the weekend, Cornell picked up 5-2 and 10-5 losses to Grinnell.
The Rams had plenty of opportunities to put up more runs against the postseason-bound Pioneers, stranding 15 total runners in the doubleheader. Cornell had at least one batter reach base safely in 13 of the 14 innings played
Sophomore slugger Miranda Keith led the Rams with five hits on the day. She represented the tying run at the plate in the bottom of the seventh in Game 1 when Grinnell induced a groundout to hold on for the win.
Erin Puck singled, tripled and drove in a run. Addie Bowman went 2-for-3 with two runs.
Cornell collected 10 hits in Game 2, three off the bat of Keith who also had three RBIs. Keith and Olivia Richards had back-to-back RBI hits in the fifth inning, pulling the Rams to within 6-4. Richards finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
Faletti singled, doubled and scored twice in her final home game with the Rams. Puck extended her hitting streak to eight games with a 2-for-3 effort.
Grinnell accounted for 14 hits against four Cornell pitchers.
Earlier in the week, the Rams lost two games to Coe 10-0 and 13-5.
The Kohawks' Game 1 win gave them a point in the 2021-22 Bremner Cup All-Sport Series.
The Rams used the long ball to climb back into Game 2 after spotting the Kohawks a 5-0 first-inning lead. Marissa Faletti's groundout put Cornell on the board and then Harvey cranked a two-run homer to left, cutting the margin to 5-3 in the second.
Keith's leadoff homer to center in the top of the third pulled Cornell to within 5-4. It was the sophomore's first round-tripper of the season.
The Kohawks quickly regained control during an eight-run fourth frame in which they tallied nine hits, opening their lead to 13-4. Keith scored Cornell's final run in the fifth before the game ended.
Cornell totaled nine hits, three coming from Claire Gugerty. Keith finished 2-for-2 with a pair of runs.
In Game 1, the Kohawks jumped on top early with a leadoff homer in the bottom of the first. Coe built a 10-0 lead through three innings and recorded 11 hits in the contest.
Cornell's lineup was held to three hits – singles by Faletti, Olivia Richards and Erin Puck.