April 8, 2011

Late Game Heroics And A Doubleheader Sweep

Bulldogs Win Opener In Bottom Of Ninth; Win Second Game 10-6

Game 2 Box Score

Ken Yanagisawa Photo Gallery

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale softball team was certainly due for some late-game heroics. Freshman Tori Balta made sure it happened. Balta's single through the left side of the infield scored Christy Nelson with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Bulldogs to a thrilling 2-1 victory over Penn in the first game of an Ivy League doubleheader at Dewitt Family Field. Yale completed the sweep in less dramatic but equally impressive fashion. The Bulldogs banged out 16 hits and cruised to a 10-6 win over the Quakers.

Yale had lost three straight games, all when the opponent scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning. It took two extra innings, but the Bulldogs got to enjoy a walk-off win in the first game against Penn.

Nelson started the winning rally with a double to right field. McKynlee Westman's sacrifice bunt moved Nelson to third, and Balta followed with the game-winning hit.

The game was a pitcher's duel between Yale's Chelsey Dunham and Penn's Mikenzie Voves. Dunham went all nine innings, allowed only three hits and struck out three to earn her sixth win of the season.

After Penn took a 1-0 lead in the second, the Bulldogs tied it in the third on Katie Yanagisawa's single up the middle that scored Virginia Waldrop.

Yale (9-15, 3-3 Ivy) outhit the Quakers 9-3 in the game. Penn left eight runners on base, while the Bulldogs stranded seven.

Penn (10-14-1, 2-4 Ivy) scored twice in the top of the first of the second game, but the lead didn't last long.

Yale scored three times in the second. Kelsey Warkentine and Jennifer Ong both doubled home runs in the inning.

Warkentine also played a big role in the Bulldogs' four-run third inning. This time, she belted a two-run double off the left field fence. Nelson and Ong also had RBI singles in the inning.

The Quakers cut it to 7-5 by scoring three times in the fourth, but Yale answered in the bottom of the inning with RBI singles by Meg Johnson and Balta.

Mariclaire Rebman's run-scoring double in the fifth capped the Bulldogs' scoring.

Kristen Leung went the first four innings in the circle to earn the victory for Yale. Alex Lucas tossed three innings of relief, allowing only one run.

Yanagisawa had hits in both games to extend her hitting streak to 12 games. Ong was 5-for-8 in the two games with a pair of doubles. Johnson and Balta each had four hits on the day.

The Bulldogs have now scored 44 runs in their last six games.

Yale returns to Dewitt Family Field on Saturday for a doubleheader against Columbia beginning at 12:30 p.m.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity

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