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After 21 Innings of Softball, Cornell Sweeps Pair

By: Princeton Athletic Communications
          Release: 04/28/2012
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Alex Peyton threw all 14 innings in game one.
Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications

PRINCETON -- The Cornell and Princeton softball teams didn't intend to play three games' worth on Saturday, but that's what the Big Red and Tigers did, Cornell winning 2-1 in 14 innings in game one and 6-4 in the regulation seven innings in game two.

With the wins, Cornell kept pace with Penn, which finished a four-game sweep of Columbia Saturday. The Quakers are 15-5 in the Ivy, and the Big Red (22-21, 13-5) will aim to match them in Sunday's twinbill.

Princeton, which fell to 14-30 overall and 8-10 in the league with the defeats, will honor its two seniors, Nicole Ontiveros and Kelsey VandeBergh, prior to Sunday's games.

Game 1: Cornell 2, Princeton 1 (14 inn.)

Cornell scored in the first, Princeton scored in the third, and neither team scored for the next 10 innings before the Big Red broke through in the 14th in a 2-1 win.

Chances were many for each team. Cornell left 14 runners on base, Princeton 13. Both pitchers went the distance, Princeton's Alex Peyton (6-13) throwing 201 pitches, striking out seven while allowing 10 hits and two walks. Cornell's Alyson Onyon (11-4) threw 188 pitches, striking out six and walking six with eight hits allowed.

The game is tied for the second-longest game in Princeton history and tied for the longest in the 28-season history of the Class of 1895 Field. Massachussets beat Princeton 3-2 in a 14-inning game in 1994 at '95 Field, while Columbia beat Princeton 1-0 in 14 innings in Manhattan in 2005. The 20-inning game Princeton played in Cambridge, with Harvard winning 2-1 in 2004, remains the longest.

The game is the longest in Cornell history, surpassing a 2004 game at Princeton that went 12 innings and saw the Big Red win 7-1.

A third-strike wild pitch and an error at first base that allowed a runner to reach second factored into Cornell's run in the first inning, which Erin Keene drove home with a sacrifice fly.

Peyton then kept Cornell off the board until the 14th, while Princeton tied it in the third. Lizzy Pierce started the inning with a single, took second on a walk to Tory Roberts and came home on an Alyssa Schmidt single.

The 1-1 score was where it sat until the 14th. A single and a walk put runners on first and second with two out, and Cornell's Kristen Towne cashed in for the go-ahead run. A single and a walk started the bottom half of the inning for Princeton, but Onyon got the next three batters to preserve the win.

Game 2: Cornell 6, Princeton 4

Cornell again scored in the first inning in the nightcap, this time scoring three runs to grab a lead Princeton wasn't able to close in a 6-4 Big Red win.

Princeton cut the deficit to 3-1 in the bottom of the second with Tory Roberts singling home Maddie Cousens. The Red made it 5-1 in the third before Princeton got another one back in the bottom half of the inning on Kelsey VandeBergh's fifth home run of the season.

The teams again traded runs in the sixth, with Roberts picking up Cousens with a double to make it 6-3. The Tigers added another in the seventh, with Alex Peyton singling to bring home VandeBergh for the 6-4 final.

Liza Kuhn (6-12) took the loss for Princeton while Sammy Roth (3-0), one of three Cornell pitchers to see action, got the win and Lauren Marx picked up her fifth save.

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