In a game that produced a rather odd-looking box score, Connecticut defeated the Yale softball team 8-0 on the strength of only one earned run.
The visiting Huskies (9-15) capitalized on three Bulldog (11-12) errors with three timely home runs on their way to the five-inning victory yesterday afternoon at the Yale field.
“We left our ‘A’ game in the locker room today,” Yale head coach Andy Van Etten said after the game.
Yale committed three errors, which led to seven Connecticut runs, and the Elis managed only four hits on the day.
The Huskies, whose misleading 9-15 record has come at the hands of a very tough schedule, took full advantage of each Bulldog miscue, exploding for all eight runs in the first three innings. The lead was more than enough for Husky pitcher Claire Hesson, who shut down the Yale offense, tallying six strikeouts and no walks in the complete game.
“We were pleased with [Hesson's] performance,” Connecticut head coach Karen Mullins said. “She came out and did a great job.”
The Huskies staked Hesson to an early 2-0 lead, getting to Yale’s Shayna Filson ’01 in the first inning. Filson should have been out of the inning with the side retired in order, but a throwing error led to a Connecticut baserunner and only two outs. Designated hitter Megan Biddle then put the Huskies up by two with a home run to left field.
“Any time you give a team more than three outs in an inning, you’re going to be in trouble,” Van Etten said. “We were supposed to be on the bench when they hit that home run [in the first inning].”
Yale ran into more of the same problems the following inning when two errors led to five unearned Connecticut runs. The Huskies pounced on the Bulldog mistakes with a grand slam and a run scored on a passed ball to put the game out of reach.
“We were pretty excited about our discipline at the plate,” Mullins said. “We’d been playing well, but we hadn’t gotten the runs we needed [in previous games].”
The Huskies added their last run in the third inning when shortstop Elisa Brinkworth homered off of Jillian Miles ’01, who replaced Filson in the top of the inning. Miles then settled down and pitched the final three innings allowing only two more hits.
“I was very happy with the way [Miles] pitched,” Van Etten said. “But we had a hard time getting ahead of their hitters, and it’s tough to pitch when you’re always behind in the count. They’re a good Big East ball club, and you can’t pitch that way to a good-hitting team.”
While Miles managed to shut down the Huskies over the last two innings, Hesson did the same to the Bulldogs. And with Yale unable to close the eight-run gap, the game was called after the fifth inning. Typical softball games last seven innings.
Yale will look to rebound from yesterday’s loss when it opens its Ivy League schedule on the road this weekend. The Bulldogs will play two doubleheaders when they travel to Columbia Saturday and Cornell Sunday.