March 15, 2012

Yale Salvages Split with CCSU

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The Yale University softball team held Central Connecticut to just three hits in the opening game of a doubleheader Thursday but the Blue Devils still managed to pull out a 4-0 win. In the closing game of the twin bill, the Bulldogs were outhit 17-7 but rallied to a 10-8 victory at the DeWitt Family Field.

Yale starting pitcher Chelsey Dunham (3-2) tossed a complete game three-hitter, but she allowed four walks and a double and a triple that both led to runs in the loss. She struck out four Central Connecticut batters.

Central Connecticut (7-6) struck in the first inning when Becca Mussatti reached with a one-out walk, moved to second on Kat Malcolm's bunt single and then scored on a passed ball, Malcolm scored the second run of the inning on an RBI double from Nicole Springer, putting the Blue Devils on top 2-0.

The Blue Devils got to Dunham again in the third inning when Arielle Bruno led off the inning with a walk and scored on an RBI triple from Mussatti. Springer drove in Mussatti with the final run of the game with a sacrifice flyout.

Yale's best chance to bounce back came in the sixth inning when Sarah Onorato led off with a single and Christy Nelson followed with a double to put runners on second and third with no outs, but the Bulldogs (4-6) could not find a way to produce the clutch hit to score the runs.

Central Connecticut's pitcher Laura Messina (4-2) struck out nine Yale batters en route to her fourth win of the season.

The Bulldogs outhit the Blue Devils 6-3 in the game, but five of the six hits were singles and they only managed eight baserunners in the game.

Things were very different in Game 2. Trailing 7-2 after the top of the fifth inning, Yale sent 13 batters to the plate in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring eight runs behind four hits, two hit batters, two CCSU errors, and a pair of walks. The eight-run outburst put the Bulldogs on top 10-7, and they held on for the 10-8 victory to salvage the split.

Once again, the Blue Devils jumped on the Bulldogs in their first at-bat, scoring a run an RBI double from Springer to take a 1-0 lead after the first inning.

Yale bounced right back, scoring a pair of runs in the second inning on a two-out, two-run double from Virginia Waldrop that gave the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead.

Central Connecticut didn't let that last long, scoring four runs in the third inning on an RBI single from Tessa Brown, a two-run home run from Alyssa McCoart, and an RBI double from Sarah Vlahos.

The Blue Devils scored two more runs in the top of the fifth without the benefit of a hit. Malcolm was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Springer followed with a bases-loaded walk to put CCSU on top 7-2.

The Bulldogs did not let that last, however. Waldrop led off the bottom of the inning with a single, and then the wheels fell off for Central's starter Jordan Tingley. She hit the next two batters to load the bases, and then an infield error allowed Waldrop and Jennifer Ong to score the first two runs of the inning. Meg Johnson followed with an RBI single, and then another infield error allowed two more Yale runs to cross the plate. The Bulldogs loaded the bases and scored a run on a walk by Ong. Tori Balta followed with a two-run double to close out the eight-run rally.

Central did not go quietly, scoring a run in the top of the seventh inning on an RBI double by McCoart. The Blue Devils had runners on second and third when Kristen Leung, who worked 2 innings of relief to earn the win, forced Vlahos to foul out to end the game.

Yale returns to action on Wednesday when it will host Marist for a doubleheader at DeWitt Family Field beginning at 2:30 p.m.

Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity

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