Ivy League Play Kicks Off On Road At Columbia, Penn

Virginia Waldrop (Sal Onorato photo)

Ong Brings Five-Game Hitting Streak Into Start Of Ivy Season

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale softball team should be ready for what figures to be a very competitive Ivy League schedule. Seven of Yale's 18 games have been decided by one run, and there have been five extra inning games. If there is a big at bat late in a close game, it should be familiar territory.

The Bulldogs (6-12) will start finding out how prepared they are for Ivy play when they travel to Columbia and Penn this weekend. The first pitch of Friday's doubleheader against the Lions is set for 2 p.m., while Saturday's games with the Quakers get under way at 12:30 p.m.

Yale's offense seems to be getting hot at the right time. In their last three games, the Bulldogs have 27 hits, have scored 15 runs and are hitting .303. Jennifer Ong will bring a five-game hitting streak into league play. She is batting .471 over the stretch. Overall, Ong leads the team with a .328 average.  Freshman Sarah Onorato also has been hot. She had four hits in Wednesday's doubleheader at Fairfield.

Chelsey Dunham (56.2 innings) and freshman Kylie Williamson (45.1) have handled most of the duties in the circle.

One area Yale must improve on in league play is in the early innings. The Bulldogs have been outscored 67-21 in the first three innings.

Columbia (6-15) played its home opener on Wednesday, splitting a doubleheader with Rider. Like Yale, the Lions spent a week at the Rebel Games in Kissimmee, Fla. Emily Snodgrass leads the team in batting (.317), runs (8) and doubles (9). Kalli Schultea (2.96 ERA) and Brooke Darling (4.62) have split time in the circle.

The Bulldogs have a seven-game winning streak against Columbia and lead the all-time series 17-6.

Penn (15-10) has won five of its last six games, including a doubleheader sweep of La Salle on Wednesday. The Quakers feature one of the top young pitchers in the league in Alexis Borden, who has a 9-2 record with a 1.18 ERA. Mikenzie Voves (1.88 ERA) also has pitched well. Sydney Turchin (.329) leads team in batting, while Kayla Dahlerbruch has a team-best four home runs and 15 RBI.

Yale swept a doubleheader from the Quakers last year, winning the first game on Tori Balta's RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning and then erupting for 16 hits in a 10-6 win in the nightcap. The Bulldogs lead the all-time series 43-16.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity