Onorato, Balta Earn Preseason Honor

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Two Yale softball players were named to the CollegeSportsMadness.com preseason All-Ivy team. Catcher Sarah Onorato was selected to the first team, while centerfielder Tori Balta earned second team recognition.

Onorato is coming off an outstanding sophomore season. She set Yale single-season school records in hits (64), doubles (19) and home runs (14), and her .430 batting average tied her with Jennifer Fong (1993) for the highest in school history.  She was named the Ivy League Player of the Year, the first Yale player to win the award since Seema Hingorani in 1991. In addition, she was the first team All-Ivy catcher and an NFCA All-Northeast Region second team selection. Nationally, she finished fourth in doubles per game (0.4), ninth in slugging percentage (.852) and 21sr in batting average (.430). She led the Ivy League in batting average, slugging percentage (.852), on base percentage (.497), runs scored (37), hits (64), doubles (19), home runs (14) and total bases (127). Her 127 total bases were the second most in Ivy history, her .852 slugging percentage was the third highest and the 14 home runs tied for the fifth most in a season.

Balta, the 2014 team captain, is a three-time All-Ivy selection. Last spring as a junior, she was the 37th toughest player to strikeout in all of Division I softball (just seven times in 136 official at bats). Her 11 sacrifice bunts were the second most in the Ivy League, and she started 45 games in centerfield. As a sophomore in 2012, Balta led the Ivy League with 11 sacrifice bunts and tied for 10th in the league with 24 runs scored. In her career, she has played in 131 games.

Yale kicked off official practice for the 2014 season on Saturday. The Bulldogs open the regular season on Feb. 21 at Norfolk State's Tournament.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity