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Hot Start: Bulldogs Sweep Cornell In Ivy Openers

Kelsey Warkentine. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Kelsey Warkentine. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Onorato Homers In Extra Innings Of Each Game

ITHACA, N.Y. – Jen Goodwin's Ivy League coaching career certainly got off to an exciting start. Yale hit six home runs and needed extra innings in both games but came away with a doubleheader sweep at Cornell, winning the first game 7-2 in 13 innings and taking the second game 7-5 in nine innings.

The two biggest home runs came from Sarah Onorato, who hit a three-run shot in the 13th inning of the first game and then belted a two-run shot in the ninth inning of the nightcap. She now has nine home runs, one shy of the single-season school record.

Kelsey Warkentine, Hannah Brennan, Christy Nelson and Kylie Williamson also went deep on the day for the Bulldogs. Tori Balta added four hits and Brittany Labbadia had three.

"It was a true team effort today," Goodwin said. "Any time we were down, someone was there to pick up the slack."

The Bulldogs fell behind 2-0 early in the first game and trailed 5-3 heading to the seventh inning of the second game.

"I really just can't say enough about this team's fight," Goodwin said. "To come back in both games, multiple times, to get out of bases loaded jams multiple times, it just shows the confidence this team has in one another."

Yale, which had lost 17 straight games to Cornell entering the day, swept a doubleheader from the Big Red for the first time since 1996.

It looked like it might be another tough trip to Ithaca when Cornell scored twice in the first inning of the first game. Pitcher Chelsey Dunham, though, shut down the Big Red's high-powered offense for the next 12 innings.

The Bulldogs managed to tie it in the fifth when Warkentine belted a two-run homer.

Cornell had the winning run on third with one out in the 10th, but Dunham induced to infield pop outs to escape the jam.

The Big Red also had two base runners in the 11th, but Dunham again wiggled out of trouble.

Yale then did some serious damage in the 13th. Labbadia and Jennifer Ong started the rally with back-to-back singles and Onorato followed with her homer to centerfield. The Bulldogs, though, weren't done. Nelson worked a walk, and Brennan belted her first career home run to cap the scoring.

Dunham was outstanding in the circle for Yale. She struck out six, allowed eight hits and threw 178 pitches.

The Bulldogs needed a late rally to force extra innings again the second time. Trailing 5-3 in the seventh, Williamson and Allie Souza singled to get things started. Ong pulled Yale within one with an RBI single to right center, and Souza scored the tying run on a wild pitch.

The Big Red had the bases loaded with no out in the bottom of the eighth but couldn't score.

The Bulldogs then won it in the ninth. Labbadia singled and Onorato followed with another clutch home run.

Kristen Leung pitched four innings of relief without allowing an earned run to notch the victory. She struck out three and yielded six hits. Rhydian Glass started in the circle and allowed two earned runs in five innings.

Yale concludes the weekend with a doubleheader at Princeton on Sunday. The start of the first game has been moved to 11 a.m. due to the threat of rain later in the day.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity