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Bulldogs Outslug Quinnipiac 12-11 In Chris’ Game

Yale and Quinnipiac prior to Chris's Game. (Jeffrey Teems photo)
Yale and Quinnipiac prior to Chris's Game. (Jeffrey Teems photo)

Tarte Knocks In Winning Run In Sixth Inning

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – An emotional day for the Yale softball team ended in joy. Annie Tarte's RBI single capped a three-run sixth inning as the Bulldogs rallied for a wild 12-11 victory over equally emotional Quinnipiac at DeWitt Family Field.

Chris's Game, as the annual battle between the two local rivals is now called, featured 33 hits and eight lead changes. The game honors the memory of Chris Labbadia, who tragically passed away in a car accident in January of 2016. Chris was the brother of former Yale player Brittany Labbadia, who graduated last spring, and the son of Quinnipiac assistant coach Lynn Labbadia. Chris' father Rocco also has been volunteering on the Quinnipiac staff this season and spent much of the game coaching third base for the Bobcats.

"After an emotional pre-game where we talked a lot about Chris Labbadia, we knew it would be a battle every inning as both teams wanted to win for Chris," said Yale head coach Jen Goodwin.

That was certainly the case. The Bulldogs rallied from deficits of 1-0, 3-2, 7-6 and 11-9.

"The team showed a lot of heart with comeback after comeback," Goodwin said. "We were clutch at the plate and found ways to get runs across the plate."

And there were contributions from a number of sources. Twelve different Bulldogs had at least one hit.

Olivia Vinyard was 3-for-4, scored three runs and added an RBI. Laina Do, Francesca Casalino, Sydney Ginsberg and Tarte each had two hits. Shelby Kennedy, Allison Skinner, Carlin Hagmaier, Rachel Paris, Camille Weisenbach, Giovy Webb and Lindsay Kuss all contributed one hit.

Yale, which has won three straight games, had six extra base hits, including five doubles.

Erin Larsen homered twice and knocked in four runs for the Bobcats (16-18).

It was Casalino, though, that belted the first home run of the day. It went just inside the left-field foul pole and gave the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead in the first inning.

After Quinnipiac went back in front 3-2, Yale scored four times in the bottom of the third. The big hits were a two-run double from Weisenbach and an RBI single from Kuss.

The Bobcats then answered with four runs in the fifth to regain the lead.

Yale, though, quickly went back in front. RBI singles by Tarte, Kennedy and Do highlighted a three-run fifth inning, and after Quinnipiac scored four times in the top of the sixth, the Bulldogs responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning to take the lead for good. Hagmaier, Vinyard and Webb all doubled in the inning.

Terra Jerpbak set down Quinnipiac in order in the seventh to seal the victory.

Part of the purpose of the game today was to bring attention to the Chris Cares Challenge. In memory of Chris, participants perform one act of kindness and then challenge three others to do the same.

"I'm looking forward to seeing our team's response to Rocco Labbadia asking us all to participate in another Chris Cares Challenge to keep his memory alive," Goodwin said.

The Bulldogs return to Ivy League action this weekend, playing back-to-back doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday. The first pitch on both days is slated for 12:30 p.m.

Report filed by Tim Bennett (timothy.bennett@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity