SOFTBALL | Ong ’13 breaks record as Elis split

Jennifer Ong ’13 hit her 15th double this year — breaking the record for the most doubles in a season — in the first inning of the Bulldogs’ first game against Wagner.
Jennifer Ong ’13 hit her 15th double this year — breaking the record for the most doubles in a season — in the first inning of the Bulldogs’ first game against Wagner. Photo by Brianne Bowen.

The softball team broke its 0–4 midweek streak when it split its doubleheader at Wagner on Wednesday. The Bulldogs (15–19, 6–6 Ivy) took the first game, 9–1, before falling to the Seahawks (8–24), 7–4, in the nightcap.

The doubleheader saw two Elis reach impressive milestones: right fielder Jennifer Ong ’13 broke the school record for most doubles in a season by hitting her 15th double of the year in the first inning of the opener, while second baseman Katie Yanagisawa ’11 collected hits in both games to extend her hitting streak to 22 games. It is the second-longest active streak in collegiate softball.

Jennifer Ong ’13, right, broke the Yale single-season record for doubles with her 15th of the year.
Jennifer Ong ’13, right, broke the Yale single-season record for doubles with her 15th of the year.

“I actually didn’t know that I broke the [doubles] record until about 30 minutes ago, so I wasn’t really thinking about it,” Ong said after the doubleheader. “I was just trying to get a hit so I could get things started.”

In the first game, the Bulldogs cruised to a 9–1 win over the Seahawks in five innings.

Pitchers Jackie Manzer ’13 and Alex Lucas ’14 combined to limit Wagner to just one run and three hits. Third baseman Christy Nelson ’13 went 2-for-3 with three RBIs, while shortstop Meg Johnson ’12 and left fielder Virginia Waldrop ’12 both knocked in two runs.

Wagner’s lone run came in the bottom of the first inning when Carley Nicoletti was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a fielder’s choice. Nicoletti moved to third on a wild pitch and then scored on a sacrifice fly to give the Seahawks a 1–0 lead.

But the Bulldogs quickly seized control of the game with a six-run third inning. After the Elis loaded the bases, Nelson singled to drive in two runs and give Yale a 2–1 lead. The Bulldogs got another run on a bases-loaded walk by center fielder Tori Balta ’14, and Johnson knocked in a pair of runs with a single to left field. Waldrop’s RBI single capped the scoring and expanded Yale’s lead to 6–1.

The Elis added three insurance runs in the fifth on a solo shot by Nelson and RBI singles from Waldrop and Ong.

The home team took the second game of the doubleheader, handing the Bulldogs a 7–4 loss.

“The second game was a little shaky,” Nelson said. “We had a couple of rough innings. We were hitting line shots, they were just to the right people.”

The Seahawks got on the board in bottom of the first when Laura Hennig’s bases-loaded single knocked in two runs. Wagner took a 3–0 edge after Christina Pinkus walked with the bases loaded to force in a run.

Wagner right fielder Ashley Rollins gave her team a five-run lead in the fifth with a two-run homer to left center.

Still, the Bulldogs battled back in the sixth with a two-out rally. Yale got two runners in scoring position after Ong walked and moved to third on a double from Yanagisawa. The Elis then cut Wagner’s lead to 5–2 on an RBI single from first baseman Mariclaire Rebman ’11.

But the Seahawks established a five-run cushion in the following inning after Amanda Garcia hit an RBI double and later scored on a Yale error.

The Bulldogs narrowed the deficit to 7–4 in the top of the seventh with Johnson’s two-run blast to center field, though it would be as close as they would get in the game.

“I don’t think the score of the second game really reflects how we performed,” Ong said. “I think we hit really well, we just started hitting a little late. If it went on one or two more innings, we definitely would have been able to win, so I think most of us are really proud of our performance today.”

Yale is back in action on Saturday and Sunday with doubleheaders against archrival Harvard. First pitch for both is slated for 12:30 p.m. in Cambridge, Mass.

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