March 7, 2012

Bulldogs Split Doubleheader With Saint Francis

Yale Wins Opener In Eight Innings; Drops Game 2

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – One thing seems clear early in the Yale softball season. Fans will be staying in their seats until the final out. The Bulldogs were involved in a pair of tight games with Saint Francis, Pa., on Wednesday, winning the first game 4-3 in eight innings before dropping a 6-3 decision in the second game.

Kelsey Warkentine's RBI single capped a two-run eighth inning for Yale in the opener. Even though the margin was three runs in the second game, there was still some late-inning drama. Jennifer Ong drew a walk to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning. Tori Balta followed with a long drive to centerfield that looked like a sure extra base hit. Instead, Saint Francis centerfielder Paige Smith made a remarkable over-the-shoulder catch and was able to get the ball back to the infield in time to double off Ong.

The Bulldogs are now 2-2 on the season and two of the four games have been decided by one run.

Ong and Warkentine each had three hits on the day for Yale.

The opener was scoreless until the fifth inning when the Bulldogs finally broke through for two runs. Hannah Brennan led off with a walk, and Virginia Waldrop followed with a single to left. Ong then singled home pinch-runner Riley Hughes.  Balta drove home the second run with a sacrifice fly to left.

Saint Francis tied it with two runs in the sixth. Both teams had runners on base in the seventh inning but couldn't capitalize.

Balta was placed on second to start the eighth inning. She promptly advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored when Meg Johnson reached on an error. Christy Nelson then singled before Warkentine knocked in what turned out to be a very important insurance run as Saint Francis scored once in the bottom of the eighth.

Chelsey Dunham pitched her second straight strong game for the Bulldogs. She went all eight innings, allowing only four hits and one earned run.

Sarah Onorato had a pair of hits for Yale.

The second game started well for the Bulldogs as Johnson reached on an error in the first inning and later scored on a throwing error by the right-fielder.

After Saint Francis scored once in the top of the second, Yale quickly got the lead back in the bottom half. With two out, Chelsea Janes singled, Waldrop walked and both scored easily when Ong followed with a triple.

That would be all the runs the Bulldogs could push across, though, and Saint Francis scored twice in the third, once in the fourth and two more times in the fifth.

Janes and Warkentine had two hits apiece for Yale, which left seven runners on base in the game.

The Bulldogs are off until Friday when they play Lehigh at 1 p.m. and Indiana State at 3 p.m.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity