Bulldogs Open Season With Pair Of Victories

Yale Edges Loyola, Ill., 3-2; Blanks La Salle 8-0

Yale-Loyola Box Score

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KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The 2011 season is off to a strong start for the Yale softball team. The Bulldogs banged out 13 hits and scored 11 runs in a pair of victories at the Rebel Games. Christy Nelson's two-run triple in the fifth inning was the game-winning hit in Yale's 3-2 victory over Loyola, Ill. Nelson then belted a three-run home run, and McKynlee Westman added a two-run single as the Bulldogs cruised to an 8-0 victory over La Salle.

Against Loyola, Yale trailed 2-1 entering the bottom of the fifth inning. Westman started the two-run rally with a single. Virginia Waldrop then put down a bunt in front of the plate. Loyola catcher Jenna Grim tried for the out at second but her throw went into centerfield. Three batters later, Nelson gave the Bulldogs the lead with her triple to the left-field fence.

Freshman Kristen Leung pitched three innings of scoreless relief to earn the victory. Jackie Manzer started the circle and struck out two in four innings.

Both Manzer and Leung were the beneficiaries of some outstanding defense. Waldrop made a diving catch to rob Carly Benford of a hit in the second inning, and the Bulldogs threw out two runners at plate who were trying to score on infield hits.

Jacqueline Grim gave Loyola (5-5) the lead when she homered to centerfield in the second.

The Bulldogs (2-0) tied it in the third when Waldrop singled and later scored on Katie Yanagisawa's sacrifice fly to right field.

Freshman Tori Balta, Mariclaire Rebman and Meg Johnson also had hits in the game for Yale.

The Bulldogs wasted no time getting on the board against La Salle (2-6). Jennifer Ong led off the game with a single to left. After Yanagisawa reached on an error, Nelson hit a towering blast over the left-field fence. It was her fifth career home run.

Yale added another run in the second. Kelsey Warkentine walked and scored on Waldrop's double to the right-field gap.

A four-run third inning capped the scoring. Westman's two-run single up the middle, and RBI singles by Ong and Warkentine highlighted the outburst.

A pair of freshmen combined on the shutout. Chelsey Dunham went the first four innings, allowing only one hit, while striking out five. Alex Lucas pitched a perfect fifth inning.

Yale was again sharp defensively. Chelsey Locarno made a terrific running catch against the fence in the third inning to keep the Explorers off the board.

The game ended after five innings due to the mercy rule.

The Bulldogs are back in action on Wednesday with a pair of games. They play Florida A&M at 1 p.m. followed by Eastern Kentucky at 3 p.m.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity

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