Balta’s Big Hit Helps Yale Earn Split Of Ivy Opening Doubleheader

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Tori Balta. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Columbia Wins Opener 5-1; Bulldogs Rally For 4-3 Victory In Nightcap

NEW YORK. N.Y. – Just like it did throughout the early portion of the schedule, the Yale softball team showed it could handle adversity on the opening day of Ivy League play. After dropping the first game 4-1 to Columbia, the Bulldogs bounced back for a key 4-3 victory in the second game.

Jennifer Ong went 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI in the second game, and Tori Balta delivered a key two-run single. Chelsey Dunham pitched a complete game, striking out five, to earn the victory.

Yale (7-13, 1-1 Ivy) grabbed the early lead in the second game by scoring once in the first. Ong led off with a single, and Balta followed with a sacrifice bunt. Ong moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Christy Nelson's sacrifice fly to right field.

After the Lions tied it in the bottom of the first, the Bulldogs responded with a two-run second inning. Virginia Waldrop walked to get things going. She was erased on Chelsea Janes's fielder's choice. Riley Hughes then singled and Ong walked to load the bases. Balta then came through with her big, two-out, two-run single.

Yale added what turned out to be a big run in the fourth. Again it was the bottom of the batting order that started the rally. Waldrop singled and moved to second on Janes's sacrifice bunt.  Waldrop then stole third and scored on Ong's infield single.

Dunham, meanwhile, was in and out of trouble often. Columbia left the bases loaded in the second and two runners on in the third.

The Lions finally broke through again in the sixth when they scored twice. Columbia had the tying run on base in the seventh, but Dunham again was able to escape.

Columbia (7-16, 1-1 Ivy) outhit Yale only 8-6 in the first game. The Lions, though, were a bit more opportunistic, scoring once in the second, twice in the fourth and once more in the fifth.

The Bulldogs scored their run in the sixth on Nelson's RBI single. They had a chance for more, loading the bases with two outs, but couldn't do any further damage.

Ong had a hit in both games to extend her hitting streak to seven. Hughes went 3-for-6, and Balta was 3-for-7 in the two games.

The Bulldogs are back in action on Saturday when they play a doubleheader at Penn. The first pitch of the first game is slated for 12:30 p.m. The Quakers swept a doubleheader from Brown on Friday.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity