ROCHESTER, Minn. - It's a good bet freshman Kari Martin
will long remember her first collegiate at-bat as a Cornell Ram. And probably her second one too.
Martin went 2-for-2 with a pair of pinch-hit home runs during a season-opening softball sweep over Saint Mary's. The Rams connected for eight long balls over the weekend in going 3-1 at the UW-La Crosse Invitational at Rochester Regional Stadium & Bubble.
Cornell (3-1) hammered seven home runs Saturday to take down Saint Mary's, 9-6 and 13-10. The Rams split two games Sunday, falling 5-0 to 21st-ranked UW-River Falls before claiming a 5-3 late-inning win over Concordia (Wis.) in the finale.
The Rams pounded out 18 extra-base hits in the four contests. Martin and fellow freshman Britt Schoon both homered twice. Brittani Yost, Jill Trzaska, Jackie Sernek and Chrissy Rasor also went deep for Cornell, which compiled a .597 slugging percentage.
Sophomore Amanda Engel picked up two wins in the pitching circle. Trzaska also earned a win and fanned 16 batters in 11 innings. Jackie Sernek posted a team-low 4.00 earned run average with eight strikeouts in seven innings.
Cornell totaled 28 hits in the doubleheader with Saint Mary's. The Rams rallied from a 2-1 deficit in Game 1 with a four-run third inning, highlighted by a solo homer from Rasor and a two-run blast from Schoon. Freshman Rilee Vest had a two-run double in the fourth and Martin belted a two-run homer in the fifth.
Rebekah Ozga and Trzaska both went 3-for-4 in the opener. Rasor had two hits. Trzaska struck out 12 in a complete-game effort.
Cornell overcame a 5-0 deficit in Game 2 behind a big seven-run fourth inning. Trzaska and Schoon hit back-to-back solo home runs in the decisive frame, while Martin capped the rally with a three-run homer. Yost had a solo home run in the third, and Vest doubled in two more in the fifth.
Yost and Abby Haubold both went 3-for-4 to lead the 15-hit attack. Trzaska and Schoon had two hits apiece. Yost also scored three times. Engel went the distance in the circle and struck out six.
The Rams were held to one hit in the shutout loss to UW-River Falls. Ozga broke up the no-hit bid with a one-out double in the sixth. UW-River Falls collected eight hits off Sernek, who allowed four earned runs with eight strikeouts and a pair of walks.
Sernek was the hero against Concordia, breaking a 3-3 tie with a two-run homer in the top of the sixth. The sophomore finished 2-for-3 at the plate with a double, a home run and three RBIs.
Engel pitched three scoreless innings in relief to notch the victory. She struck out the final batter of the game with the tying run on first base.
Yost went 2-for-4 with two doubles. Concordia stranded 12 runners on base.