March 28, 2013

Ivy League Play Starts With Trip To Cornell, Princeton

Bulldogs Coming Off Doubleheader Split With Fairfield

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale pitching staff had perhaps its best day of the season in Wednesday's doubleheader split with Fairfield. Chelsey Dunham, Rhydian Glass and Kristen Leung combined to yield just two earned runs against a Stags offense that was averaging more than 4.5 runs per game.

The staff will get another stiff test when the Bulldogs open Ivy League play this weekend against Cornell and Princeton, the top two hitting teams in the league. Yale has a doubleheader at Cornell on Saturday and plays two at Princeton on Easter Sunday. The opening pitch on both days is slated for 12:30 p.m.

The Bulldogs built some needed momentum on Wednesday. Dunham was outstanding in the circle in the first game, tossing a three-hit shutout in a 4-0 win. Glass and Leung also pitched well in the second game, but were victimized by a couple of costly errors in a 5-4 loss.

Offensively, Sarah Onorato continued her recent tear, belting home runs in both games. She has an Ivy League leading seven home runs on the season to go along with a .411 batting average, which is fourth in the league. Onorato has an eight-game hitting streak during which she has hit .500 (13-for-26).

Kelsey Warkentine also had a big day at the plate against Fairfield, going 3-for-6, including her first home run of the season, and knocking in three runs.

In its last eight games, Yale is batting .321 with eight home runs.

Cornell (10-12) is the top hitting team in the league with a .315 average.  The Big Red has eight regulars hitting .300 or better. Senior Erin Belles leads the way at .409 with three home runs and eight RBI, while freshman Meg Parker is batting .373 with three home runs and a team-high 17 RBI. Freshman Michiko McGivney (.353, nine RBI) paces the team with four home runs, while Christina Villalon (.373, two HR, 12 RBI), Lauren Bucolo (.361), Emily Weinberg (.333), Kristen Towne (.340) and Linda Laeufer (.306) are all well above .300 through the team's first 22 contests.

In the circle, junior Alyson Onyon is 7-5 with a save and a 2.81 ERA in 13 starts. Onyon has nine complete games, including a shutout, and is allowing opponents to hit just .237. The Big Red hurler has struck out 64 in 82.1 innings of work.

Princeton (14-8) has a .312 team batting average. Through Sunday's games, the Tigers are ranked No. 12 in the nation in doubles per game at 1.82. Twelve Tigers have had a two-base knock this season, and Candy Button leads the team with seven.  Princeton has out-homered its opponents 18-6 this season. Lizzy Pierce, Candy Button and Alex Peyton co-lead the team with three apiece.

Shanna Christian (4-3, 1.95 ERA), Alex Peyton (3-3, 2.45) and Liza Kuhn (4-2, 2.98) anchor the Princeton pitching staff.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity