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Sarah Cornell strikes out 20

Clarke eighth grade pitcher Sarah Cornell delivers to

Clarke eighth grade pitcher Sarah Cornell delivers to the plate in the bottom of the 4th inning. (March 27, 2012) (Credit: James Escher)

Class is back in session at Cornell University.

The instructor? Sarah Cornell. The students? Anyone holding a bat. The lesson? A strikeout clinic.

In her season debut, the freshman pitcher struck out 20 batters in seven innings and allowed just one hit to lead Clarke to a 9-0 win over Farmingdale in a non-league game on Friday.

It was a nearly flawless beginning to the follow-up of her impressive eighth-grade season, in which she overpowered batters with her fastball and led Clarke to the county semifinals.  She returns with added velocity, better control and new pitches in her arsenal.  All of which were on display in the first game of the season.

“With Sarah being able to throw movement pitches this season and the increased speed and control of her fastball, I think she’s going to be much more effective,” Clarke coach Chrissy DeMott said.

Cornell essentially gave her defense the day off while striking out all but one batter, allowing a ground out to shortstop in the fourth inning.

“It brought me back to my high school days,” said DeMott, a former pitcher for Island Trees who, in 2002, struck out 20 in a game for what was, at the time, a state record for a seven-inning game.  “To see a performance like that from such a young pitcher was absolutely priceless.”

Cornell entered the bottom of the seventh needing two strikeouts to surpass her career-high of 18. 

She struck out the side to close out the game. Class dismissed. 

Tags: Sarah Cornell , Clarke

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