Bulldogs Complete Perfect Ivy Weekend; Sweep Columbia

Christy Nelson's home run (Ken Yanagisawa photo)

Dunham Earns Victory In Both Games

Game 2 Box Score

Ken Yanagisawa Photo Gallery

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Much of the attention has been focused on Yale's hitting recently, but in Saturday's doubleheader sweep of Columbia it was a pitcher that may have played the most important role. Chelsey Dunham tossed a three-hit shutout in the opener as the Bulldogs cruised to a 7-0 victory. Dunham then pitched three innings of shutout relief as Yale rallied for a 12-7 win in the second game.

The two victories completed a perfect Ivy League weekend for the Bulldogs, who swept Penn on Friday.

Yale's offense certainly did its part as well. The Bulldogs (11-15 overall) had 13 hits in each of the two games. McKynlee Westman and Christy Nelson both went 5-for-7 on the day. Nelson homered in the first game, and Kelsey Warkentine hit a big two-run homer in the nightcap. Katie Yanagisawa, who was celebrating her birthday, had hits in each game to extend her hitting streak to 14.

Dunham entered the second game in the fifth inning in a precarious position – the score was tied at seven, there were no outs and the bases were loaded. Dunham, though, retired the next three hitters to keep the game deadlocked.

The Bulldogs then erupted for four runs in the bottom of the inning. Tori Balta led off with a walk, and Warkentine followed with a towering home run to left-centerfield. Mariclaire Rebman later singled home Chelsey Locarno, and Nelson capped the rally with an RBI single.

Yale added an insurance run in the sixth when Warkentine walked and later scored on wild pitch.

Columbia (9-22, 1-7 Ivy) led 4-0 after two at bats, but the Bulldogs got right back in it with a three-run second inning which was aided by a pair of Columbia errors.

Yale then scored four times in the third. Nelson started the rally with a double, and Westman followed with an RBI single. After Warkentine walked and Locarno was hit by a pitch, Jennifer Ong delivered a clutch two-run single. Yanagisawa followed with an RBI single to give the Bulldogs a 7-4 lead.

Dunham, who set down all nine batters she faced in the second game, was masterful in the first game as well. The only hits she allowed were singles to Jennifer Bergeron, Morgan Cook and Emily Caruthers. Dunham finished with seven strikeouts.

She was also the beneficiary of some excellent defense. Westman, at catcher, went back to fence to make nice catch on foul pop up with runners on first and second in the fourth inning. Balta then made a fine running catch in centerfield in the seventh inning.

Nelson's home run, her team-leading fourth of the season, gave Yale a 1-0 lead in the second.

It stayed that way until the fourth when the Bulldogs scored twice. Meg Johnson started the rally with a single to left. After Nelson singled, Westman knocked home the first run with a single to right. Two batters later, Warkentine doubled home Nelson.

Warkentine was right in the middle of Yale's four-run sixth inning as well. She doubled home the first two runs, and Rebman later added a two-run single.

In their last eight games, the Bulldogs have scored 63 runs and are batting .375 during the stretch.

Yale plays its third consecutive doubleheader on Sunday, hosting Rhode Island beginning at noon at Dewitt Family Field.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity