Johnson Has Big Day But Yale Falls To Princeton

Christy Nelson (Sal Onorato photo)
Christy Nelson (Sal Onorato photo)

Bulldog Shortstop Has Five Hits In Two Games

Sal Onorato Photo Gallery

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale softball team's frustrating habit of falling behind hurt again in Friday's doubleheader with Princeton. The Tigers scored first in both games and then hung on for a pair of victories, winning the opener 6-3 and taking the nightcap 6-4 on a sunny but chilly afternoon at Dewitt Family Field.

Yale staged late rallies in each game but came up short. The Bulldogs trailed 6-1 entering the seventh inning of the first game but scored twice and had a chance for more. With one out, Meg Johnson doubled and later scored on Tori Balta's single. Christy Nelson then hit a long fly ball that was dropped by Princeton's centerfielder, which allowed Balta to score. Nelson ended up at second on the play, but the next hitter was retired to end the game.

In the second game, Yale entered the bottom of the seventh inning trailing 6-2. Again, the Bulldogs nearly came back. Johnson started the rally with a single, and Jennifer Ong followed with an RBI double to the right-centerfield gap. Nelson then singled home Ong, which brought the tying run to the plate. Sarah Onorato hit a hard line drive but it went right to Princeton third baseman Kelsey VandeBergh, who retired Onorato at first to end the game.

Johnson had a big day at the plate for Yale (7-19, 1-5 Ivy). She was 5-for-6 with three runs and an RBI. Ong, Onorato and Balta each had two hits.

In the first game, the Tigers scored two runs in the second and two in the fourth to seize control. The Bulldogs got one back in the fourth. Singles by Onorato and Kylie Williamson started the rally. With one out, Virginia Waldrop was hit by a pitch. Riley Hughes's ground out scored Onorato, but Princeton pitcher Alex Peyton avoided further damage.

The Tigers outhit Yale 11-7 in the opener.

Princeton (8-19, 4-2 Ivy) scored the first three runs of the second game, and early on it looked like that was going to be more than enough. Tigers' pitcher Liza Kuhn had seven strikeouts through the first three innings.

The Bulldogs, though, started to figure out Kuhn in the fourth. Nelson and Onorato drew back-to-back walks to start the inning, but Kuhn settled down and worked out of the jam.

In the fifth, Yale finally broke through. Kelsey Warkentine led off with a double down the right field line and later scored on Johnson's single up the middle. Ong followed with an RBI double. Kuhn, though, retired the next three hitters.

Princeton then added a single run in the sixth and VandeBergh hit what turned out to be a very big two-run homer in the seventh.

The Bulldogs are back in action on Saturday when they host a doubleheader with Cornell beginning at 12:30 p.m. Free audio of the games will be available here.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity