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Bulldogs Out-Hit Powerful Cornell But Lose Doubleheader

(Sal Onorato photo)
(Sal Onorato photo)

Nelson Has Five Hits On Day For Yale

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Cornell has always been one of the top hitting softball teams in the Ivy League. Yale matched the Big Red hit for hit in Saturday's doubleheader, but the difference was the long ball. Cornell belted four home runs and swept the Bulldogs, winning the first game 8-6 and taking the nightcap 8-5.

Yale actually outhit the Big Red 24-19 on the day. Christy Nelson went 5-for-7 with a triple and three RBI for the Bulldogs. Jennifer Ong added four hits, and Riley Hughes, Tori Balta and Meg Johnson each had three hits.

All four of Cornell's home runs came in the first game. The biggest was from Christina Villalon, a three-run blast with two-out in the top of the seventh that capped a five-run inning for the Big Red.

The Bulldogs (7-21, 1-7 Ivy) have struggled with slow starts throughout the season. That certainly wasn't the case on Saturday. Yale scored twice in the first inning of the first game to grab the early lead. Ong led off with a walk and Balta followed with a bunt single. Kylie Williamson advanced the runners with a perfect sacrifice bunt. Cornell pitcher Jenna Stoller then threw a pitch that went to the back stop. Ong raced home, and when the throw to the plate got away, Balta alertly scored as well.

The Bulldogs added three runs in the second. Singles by Hughes, Ong and Williamson loaded the bases. Nelson then hit a long fly ball to centerfield. Linda Laeuffer couldn't make the catch near the fence, all three runners scored and Nelson was credited with a triple.

Cornell (16-13, 6-1 Ivy) used a pair of home runs – a solo shot by Erin Keene and a two-run blast by Katie Watts – to pull within 5-3 in the fourth.

Yale added what looked to be a big insurance run in the sixth. Nelson walked and moved to second on Johnson's single to centerfield. Chelsea Janes then delivered a clutch, two-out RBI single.

After Cornell scored five times in the top of the seventh, the Bulldogs refused to quit. With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Hughes singled to center, and Ong followed with a double that put the tying run in scoring position. Lauren Marx was then summoned into the circle for the Big Red, and she struck out the next two hitters to end the game.

Hughes finished 3-for-4 with a run scored and Ong was 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored for Yale.

The Bulldogs also got off to a quick start in the second game when Balta tripled and scored on Sarah Onorato's ground out in the first inning.

The Big Red, though, scored the next four runs. Yale pulled to within 4-3 by scoring twice in the fourth. Johnson singled and Virginia Waldrop walked to start the rally. After a ground out, Ong delivered a two-run single up the middle.

The Big Red then scored four times in the fifth to regain control.

Yale tallied once in the sixth on Balta's sacrifice fly, and once in the seventh on Waldrop's RBI single. Marx, though, came on again in the bottom of the seventh to record the final out and notch her second save of the day.

Nelson went 4-for-4 with a run scored for Yale. Ong and Balta both had two hits apiece.

The Bulldogs are back in action on Wednesday when they host a doubleheader against Wagner beginning at 2:30 p.m.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity