Onorato Elected Captain of 2014-15 Bulldogs

Sarah Onorato. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Sarah Onorato. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Earned Ivy League Player Of Year Honors As A Sophomore

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Sarah Onorato, who has been a fixture behind the plate in each of her first three seasons, has been elected captain of the 2014-15 Yale softball team. The announcement was made following a team vote at the post season brunch on Tuesday.

"It means so much to be elected to this position by my teammates, and I am excited to lead a program that has meant so much to me the past three years and which I feel is headed in a really positive direction. I hope to bring leadership, commitment and hard work to the team as we continue to grow and improve."

Onorato has appeared in 123 games in her career, virtually all of them behind the plate. This season, she caught every inning of Yale's 41 games. Her 32 hits were second on the team and her 13 RBIs tied her for third. In addition, she tied for the Ivy League lead with two triples.

As a sophomore, Onorato 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 21st 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.

"Sarah's competitive nature, along with her ability to relate to each of her teammates and get the most out of them is going to make her a strong leader," said Yale head coach Jen Goodwin. "She will be vocal, intense and lead next year's team to new heights."

Onorato, a North Reading, Mass., native, was the recipient of the team's Barbara Chou Leadership Award this spring. She also was a two-year team captain at Phillips Academy Andover.

"I learned a lot from that experience," she said. "My senior year I was unfortunately sick and unable to play for a few key weeks, so I've had the chance to play many different roles on a team and to appreciate how every person adds something different, which I think is very important."

Onorato will be one of four seniors on next year's team, joining Hannah Brennan, Riley Hughes and Kylie Williamson.

"The other seniors are all great teammates and leaders," Onorato said. "They have each been extremely dedicated to this program, and their work ethics and attitudes will be great examples for the underclassmen. I am looking forward to strong leadership across the board from our class next year."

Onorato has been active off the field as well. Last summer, she worked as an assistant counselor with the program Aspire through Mass General Hospital, working to provide therapy for kids with Asperger's Syndrome, autistic spectrum disorders, and other related challenges. At Yale she served as a research intern in the Psychology Department for Stacey Blase, a Ph.D candidate, studying writing interventions in the treatment of stress and anxiety.

This summer, Onorato will be working on the research and development team at McChrystal Group, a leadership consulting firm based in Virginia.

And when she returns to campus in the fall, the preparations for the 2015 season will begin in earnest.

"I think that, aside from improving our game every day, the time from when we step on campus in August to when we start playing, it is crucial to form an identity as a team," she said. "We have a great group coming back, and a solid class of freshmen joining us in the fall who can learn from them."

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity