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Cornell Takes Two from Softball as '12 Season Comes to a Close

By: Princeton Athletic Communications
          Release: 04/29/2012
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Alex Peyton put in another 14 innings in the circle Sunday.
Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications

PRINCETON -- Cornell knew it had to sweep Sunday's doubleheader against the Princeton softball team if it wanted to keep its Ivy League title and NCAA tournament hopes alive, and that's what the Big Red did at the Class of 1895 Field.

With victories of 2-1 in 10 innings and 6-0, Cornell finishes its season at 24-21 overall and 15-5 in the Ivy and will visit Penn, also 15-5 in the league, for an Ivy South tiebreaker game next weekend on a date and time to be determined. It is the first such tiebreaker game in the history of Ivy League softball. The winner will travel to Harvard in two weekends to play for the NCAA bid.

Princeton finishes the season at 14-32 overall and 8-12 in the Ivy League. Tiger seniors Kelsey VandeBergh and Nicole Ontiveros, who played their final games in a Princeton uniform Sunday, finished as Princeton's top hitters for 2012, hitting .326 and .289, respectively.

Game 1: Cornell 2, Princeton 1 (10 inn.)

For the second time in as many days, Princeton pitcher Alex Peyton and Cornell pitcher Alyson Onyon dueled into extra innings before Onyon's team prevailed 2-1.

The fourth inning was a productive one for both teams, as Lauren Bucolo and Christina Villalon put together a double and a single to get Cornell on the board in the top half of the frame before Princeton responded. Kelsey VandeBergh led off the bottom half of the fourth with a single, moved over to second on Alex Peyton's sacrifice, and scored on Alyssa Schmidt's single to tie it up.

That's where it stood for six innings until Cornell broke through in the 10th. Bucolo doubled home a leadoff single from Jenny Edwards, putting the Big Red ahead, and the Tigers managed only a walk in the bottom of the 10th as the game came up just short of the 14-inning marathon from Saturday.

Alex Peyton (6-14) took the loss for the Tigers, again going the distance and throwing 144 pitches a day after she threw 201 in the 14-inning contest. Onyon improved to 12-4 on the season, adding 136 pitches to the 188 she threw Saturday.

Game 2: Cornell 6, Princeton 0

Cornell pushed across a run in the first and broke it open with a three-run shot in the third on the way to a 6-0 win that clinched a share of the Ivy South division title.

A single, a stolen base and another single added up to Cornell's first run in the opening frame against Liza Kuhn (6-13) before Alex Peyton entered in the second inning.

Peyton, who had already thrown 24 innings over the weekend, made it 28 after throwing the second through fourth innings. Cornell got a boost from a Jenny Edwards three-run home run in the third to make it 4-0, and the lead became 5-0 in the fifth on two singles with two sacrifice bunts in between.

Kuhn returned to the circle for the sixth and finished it out, allowing Cornell's final run after a double, a single and a run-scoring fielder's choice in the seventh.

With Cornell's division title hopes on the line, the Big Red turned to Alyson Onyon, who had limited Princeton to two runs over 24 innings in Saturday's and Sunday's openers. Onyon didn't disappoint, going all seven innings for the shutout on 75 pitches that put her at one short of the 400-pitch mark for the weekend.

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