The softball team had a good start to its afternoon yesterday, coming back in the late innings against Hartford to take game one of a doubleheader.
Yale (5–23, 1–7 Ivy) improved to 2–4 at home on the season against Hartford (7–18, 1–5 America East), with the Bulldogs taking the first game 6–5 before falling 6–3 in the second.
Game one started out on a low note for the Elis when the Hawks scored three runs in the opening inning. Following a flyout, two consecutive Hartford batters walked before first baseman Chelsey Mooney and designated hitter Jackie Kelly drove in three total runs on a single and a double, respectively. Yale recorded no hits in the home half of the first inning before Hartford threatened again in the top of the second inning. The Bulldogs, however, escaped the inning without allowing a run.
Catcher Sarah Onorato ’15 got things started for Yale in the third inning by drawing a leadoff walk. Second baseman Laina Do ’17 replaced her at first on a fielder’s choice before captain and center fielder Tori Balta ’14 singled to put runners at first and second. A walk to first baseman Lauren Delgadillo ’16 loaded the bases with just one out. Shortstop Carolyn McGuire ’17 then walked to score Do from third base. Two batters later, right fielder Camille Weisenbach ’17 singled in the second run of the inning.
Yale tacked on another run an inning later to tie the score at three as Onorato scored on a single by Balta. Hartford, however, returned the favor, scoring in the top of the fifth inning to go up again. The Hawks extended their lead in the sixth by playing small ball, moving runners over with a sacrifice bunt before scoring on a sacrifice fly.
The Bulldogs remained relentless and pushed ahead in the bottom half of the sixth inning, scoring three runs on four hits. Do doubled then scored on a throwing error by the Hawks catcher, who attempted to catch Balta stealing, on base after a single. McGuire then doubled, scoring Balta, for her second RBI on the day. Third baseman Hannah Brennan ’15 singled to score McGuire for the team’s third tally of the inning.
The Elis contained Hartford in the final inning to seal the 6–5 win. Pitcher Kristen Leung ’14, who came on in relief of pitcher Chelsey Dunham ’14 in the fifth inning, picked up the win for the Bulldogs. Yale pounded out ten hits, with Balta going three for three with one walk.
“We never let up in this game,” Onorato said. “We stayed confident and relaxed at the plate, and were able to fight back and hold tight with our defense when necessary.”
In the second game of the afternoon, Hartford again started off strong, opening the game with three runs in the first inning. Hawks center fielder Sawyer Fried singled to pick up an RBI, then scored on a home run by first baseman Chelsey Mooney. The Elis responded with two runs in the bottom of the first, with Onorato scoring on a sacrifice fly by Delgadillo and Balta crossing the plate on a single from Weisenbach. Brennan then reached on an error and McGuire walked to load the bases, but the Bulldogs were unable to push another run across the plate.
Hartford took a commanding lead in the second inning, pounding out three more hits en route to three runs. Yale made another rally in the bottom of the fourth inning when McGuire started the inning with a leadoff walk. Two outs later, left fielder Allie Souza ’16 stood on first and scored on a double by Onorato, bringing the score to 6–3.
The Elis put the pressure on in the sixth inning as well, with a walk and consecutive singles producing an opportunity to score. Souza, however, was called out at the plate on her attempt to score from second base on a single by Do. In the team’s final at-bat, three walks would load the bases. The Bulldogs were unable to capitalize, however, and failed to score.
Yale had eight hits in the second game of the doubleheader, with seven of them coming from the team’s top third of the batting order. Onorato finished with three hits, Do added two more and Balta capped off her day with two hits.
“Everybody contributed to the team’s success today,” Do said. “Everyone kept fighting until the game was over. Our defense and offense is finally starting to come together, and it showed.”
The Bulldogs will look to maintain their offensive momentum going this weekend, when they travel to Hanover to face Dartmouth in a four-game series starting Saturday at 12:30 p.m.