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NY freshman softball pitcher strikes out 20 of 22 batters in season opener

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

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Clarke pitcher Sarah Cornell struck out 20 of 22 batters in her season opener — YouTube

Clarke pitcher Sarah Cornell struck out 20 of 22 batters in her season opener — YouTube

Usually a win is considered an awfully good way to start a season for a pitcher. Sarah Cornell went quite a bit further.

In her season debut for Westbury (N.Y.) Clarke High, the freshman struck out 20 of 21 batters to lead Clarke to a 9-0 victory. The 14-year-old was nearly perfect on the day, allowing just a single hit.

Do the math, and Cornell struck out an astounding 20 of 22 batters. That’s one heck of a way to get a season started.

One might think it’s a way to get a career started, too, but Cornell actually pitched for Clarke in 2012 as an eighth grader, helping lead the team to the New York Class A state semifinals.

Unfortunately for Cornell and Clarke, the 2013 campaign hasn’t rolled along the way they might have hoped after that first game. As chronicled by Newsday, Clarke currently stands at 4-4, with Cornell’s record at 3-4.

That’s despite Cornell holding opponents to 2 or fewer runs in six of Clarke’s eight contests.

Clearly, given her first game of the year Cornell has the talent on the mound to carry Clarke deep in the state tournament later in the year, assuming Clarke starts to hit enough to even get there. Even if it doesn’t, they’ll be able to look back on one remarkable season opener, for Clarke and her teammates.

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