Bulldogs Bang Out 10 Hits In Opening Day Victory Over South Dakota

Chelsey Dunham (Sal Onorato photo)

Fall 7-6 To Holy Cross In Second Game Of Day

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The season couldn't have started much better for the Yale softball team. On the year's first pitch, Jennifer Ong singled sharply to right. Things only improved from there in the first game of the day. The Bulldogs banged out 10 hits en route to a 6-2 victory over South Dakota at the Rebel Games.

In the second game, Yale nearly rallied from an early 5-0 deficit but fell just short and dropped a 7-6 decision to Holy Cross.

Against South Dakota, Ong, Christy Nelson and freshman Sarah Onorato each had two hits for Yale, which belted five doubles, including one from freshman Hannah Brennan that knocked in two runs.

Chelsey Dunham pitched a complete game, yielding only four hits and striking out five, to earn the victory.

The Bulldogs jumped on the board first in the second inning. Tori Balta doubled and later scored on Virginia Waldrop's single to left center.

The Coyotes tied it in the bottom of the second, and it stayed that way until the fifth when Yale used a two-out rally to take the lead for good. Meg Johnson's bunt single started it. She advanced to second on a throwing error and scored on Nelson's double to the right center-field gap. Onorato followed with an RBI double to nearly the identical spot.

South Dakota (2-14) pulled within one with a run in the sixth, but the Bulldogs added three big insurance runs in the seventh.  Nelson opened the inning with a double down the right field line, and Onorato followed with a single to left. Balta then hit a grounder to short that was misplayed for an error. Nelson scored on the play, and Balta was credited with an RBI. Brennan then capped the scoring with her two-run double to right-center.

For the first game of the season, Yale was very sharp. Balta and Waldrop both had successful sacrifice bunts. The Bulldogs also did the job defensively. Ong, at second base, made a fine running catch with two runners on base in the sixth inning.

In the second game, Holy Cross scored five runs in the first inning and held on for the victory.

Nelson and Balta had two more hits each for the Bulldogs. Chelsea Janes also had a single.

Yale (1-1) erupted for four runs in the second inning to get close. Balta doubled to start the rally, and scored on Kelsey Warkentine's single. After a walk to Waldrop, Ong doubled home two more runs, and Johnson later delivered an RBI single.

Sam Fregenti's two-run homer in the fifth increased the Crusaders' lead to 7-4, but the Bulldogs had one more comeback left.

Nelson and Onorato singled with two-out in the bottom of the seventh, and Balta followed with a two-run double to pull the Bulldogs within one.

Tori Cheske then came on in relief for Holy Cross (1-5) and got the final out to end the game.

The Bulldogs play two games against St. Francis, Pa., on Wednesday starting at 1 p.m.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity

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