Softball loses in 10 to split a pair

Drama isn’t just for the stage — it’s for the field too.

After Yale softball (13-17, 2-6 Ivy) came through with a 6-0 win against Sacred Heart (15-16), it suffered a hard-luck 3-2 loss in a nail-biting 10 innings.

KR Ling ’10 pitches during Yale’s sweep of Army on March 26. “The first game was really a team effort,” she said of yesterday’s win on the road.
Charles Francis
KR Ling ’10 pitches during Yale’s sweep of Army on March 26. “The first game was really a team effort,” she said of yesterday’s win on the road.

Yale started off the day on a strong note, putting together a string of hits that allowed outfielder Ashley Sloan ’10 to score a run in the first inning. Neither team scored again until the fifth, when a single and stolen base from second baseman Katie Yanagisawa ’11 and a double from captain Aracelis Torres ’08 gave the Bulldogs another run.

Throughout the first game, Deanna DiBernardi ’09 and Kayla Kuretich ’10 came together for strong pitching, which prevented Sacred Heart from scoring any runs. DiBernardi did not allow any hits during her first four innings and Kuretich only gave up two in the last three.

“It was a day when pretty much everything was working, which is always nice,” DiBernardi said. “We kept them off balance and kept them guessing — that’s how we were successful.”

Torres said the team was struggling with bringing in runners when they were in scoring position during the earlier innings of the game. But once they got their momentum in the seventh, the Elis were able to capitalize on those opportunities, she said.

“We forced ourselves to make adjustments to their pitches,” Torres explained. “Initially we weren’t getting in the runs and we weren’t connecting well with the pitches, but we made those changes and then we just kept going with it.”

The Bulldogs pulled far ahead in the last inning when they put together a solid teamwork effort and scored four runs. Courtney Blachford ’08 started the inning with a bang, singling to center field, stealing second and then advancing to third on a wild pitch.

After a series of Yale hits and Sacred Heart miscues put Sloan, Torres and Katie Edwards ’08 on base, Megan Enyeart ’09 and Allie Canulli ’10 each hit singles to bat their teammates in, ending the game with a 6-0 rout.

Going into the second game, the Bulldogs carried that momentum by taking the lead in the fifth inning. Players reached base and advanced on errors, and Holly Gutterud ’10 took advantage of these opportunities to give Yale the lead. Her single batted in Enyeart, and Gutterud later advanced to second and then third, before earning a second run for the Bulldogs.

Solid defense throughout the game kept the Pioneers at bay, but in the seventh inning, Yale gave Sacred Heart the opportunity to make a comeback when they broke the Bulldog defense and pitching. Two Pioneers got on base and advanced to second and third base. Pitcher KR Ling ’10 gave up a double that allowed Jen Russell to bat in two runs, tying the score 2-2 in the seventh inning.

The Bulldogs and Pioneers then played to a standstill until the 10th. At the top of the inning, the Bulldogs were almost able to score the leading run when Gutterud advanced to third and Blachford stole second base, but a pop-fly and ground-out prevented the team from doing so.

Then the Pioneers came up to bat and scored the tie-breaking run that ended the game 3-2.

Players said the second game was an unfortunate loss, but that the team will most likely be focusing on the results of the first game.

“That first game was really a team effort — every single person had a part in it,” Ling said. “Everyone was contributing with offense, defense and pitching.”

She added, “It’s exactly what we need to take into this weekend.”

Starting tomorrow, the Bulldogs will host two double-headers against division rival Harvard. This marks the beginning of Yale’s play against teams in its North Division of the Ivy League. The teams with the best overall Ivy record within each division at the end of the season will face each other to vie for the Ivy League title.

“Today’s games were a good indication of good things to happen this weekend,” DiBernardi said. “We’re confident in ourselves and we believe that we’ll be able to beat Harvard this weekend.”

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