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Elizabeth Dalrymple '11 shines beyond the pitcher's mound

Elizabeth Dalrymple '11 at game against Harvard

Elizabeth Dalrymple '11 during game three of the 2010 Ivy League championship series against Harvard, May 8, 2010, which was won by Cornell, 3-2. Dalrymple would pick up the victory, propelling the Big Red to its second straight NCAA tournament appearance. Photo by Darl Zehr.

In softball, a circle sits in the middle of the infield. That circle can be unforgiving, with the team's win or loss pinned on the record of the pitcher who steps inside it. Few players in the history of Ivy League softball have stepped in the arena so often, or as successfully, as Cornell's Elizabeth Dalrymple '11.

Consider this.

The senior captain has been named Ivy League Pitcher of the Year twice and could very well make it three times this season. In the ultimate head-to-head competition between pitcher and batter, Dalrymple ranks fourth in Ivy history and first all-time at Cornell in strikeouts. She also ranks among the league's career top 10 in shutouts, earned run average, saves, wins and complete games. Opponents have hit a paltry .220 against her, meaning little more than one out of every five batters she faces gets a base hit. She has allowed 450 hits while striking out more than 600 hitters.

Dalrymple's softball resume is as impressive as any pitcher to don a uniform in conference history. She is a two-time first-team All-Ivy pick and was a second-team National Fastpitch Coaches Association all-region pick in 2010. When she graduates, she will be a surefire Cornell Athletics Hall of Famer.

Her efforts during the 2011 season have been every bit as impressive. After helping the team win the conference title for the second straight year in 2010, Dalrymple has been the dominant force on a totally revamped starting lineup that prominently features four freshmen and two sophomores. Considered by many to be too young a team to compete, the Big Red will enter the final weekend of league play in prime position to win its third straight South Division championship and play for the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

"Early in the season, we needed to find our best lineup on the field. We needed to come together as a team first," Dalrymple says. "I think we've found that spark and that consistency that really is what Cornell softball is all about."

Elizabeth Dalrymple '11 pitches against Albany

Dalrymple, here pitching against Albany, March 18, 2011, is a two-time Ivy League Pitcher of the Year. Photo by Darl Zehr.

And with all that considered, it's still her off-diamond resume that sets her apart as one of Cornell's top student-athletes.

She is a nominee for the Lowe's Senior Class Award, honoring the top student-athletes in the country with respect to classroom success, community involvement and character and success on and off the field.

In December, she traveled with surgeons, nurses and physical therapists on a medical mission to Milot, Haiti, while working at the CRUDEM Foundation's Hospital Sacre Coeur. As a nonmedical volunteer, she helped with such tasks as assisting nurses, organizing orthopedic supply closets and entertaining patients.

During summer 2009, Dalrymple visited Moshi, Tanzania, with the Cornell Global Health Summer Course and Internship Program. In the second four-week service-internship component of the court she volunteered with KINSHAI, an NGO cluster that focuses on HIV/AIDS and reproductive health interventions in the Kilimanjaro area. She helped create a website for the organization and helped them with various community events related to HIV/AIDS education and water sanitation projects.

"It's experiences like those that have helped make Elizabeth a great leader," says head coach Dick Blood, who is on the verge of becoming the all-time winningest Cornell coach. "She is not only one of the finest hurlers Cornell has ever had, but one of the toughest competitors I've ever worked with."

Invitations came from the Quill and Dagger and Red Key honor societies, allowing her to make an impact on campus and in the local community as well. A member of Cornell's Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC), she was elected to serve as secretary of Red Key and spearheaded numerous community service events. Dalrymple's Pi Beta Phi sorority also was involved in a variety of philanthropic events, including Relay for Life.

And Dalrymple has kept her head in the classroom. Posting a 3.4 grade-point average in nutritional sciences, Dalrymple has earned National Fastpitch Coaches Association Scholastic honors and Academic All-Ivy accolades, and has been a College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District nominee twice.

As the 2010-11 athletic season comes to a close so, too, will Dalrymple's softball career. As she steps out of that circle for the last time -- to an as-yet-undecided future -- her legacy will be long lasting.

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