This past weekend was a mix of highs and lows for the softball team.
The Bulldogs (16-23-1, 4-12 Ivy) faced Dartmouth (11-22, 7-9) in two doubleheaders this weekend in Hanover, N.H., sweeping Saturday’s games 10-9 and 6-0 but losing to the Big Green, 5-2 and 5-3, yesterday.
The weekend began with a clutch play that earned the Elis a dramatic victory over the Big Green. The score was tied 9-9 going into the seventh inning but Allie Canulli ’10 broke the standstill by scoring on a wild pitch in the top of the inning. This gave the Bulldogs a 10-9 lead that they held until the end, with Yale pitching and defense holding off Dartmouth in the bottom.
“That first game was quite a battle because it really went back and forth for most of the game,” shortstop and captain Aracelis Torres ’08 said. “Coming back from behind and pulling out the win was huge ego booster for us, and that momentum carried us over to the second game when we scored early and didn’t allow any runs.”
Saturday’s second game featured a 6-0 shutout from pitcher Rebecca Wojciak ’09, who allowed only five hits. The Bulldog offense came out big in the third inning with a string of solid hits that resulted in four runs. Holly Gutterud ’10 batted in the first run with a single and McKynlee Westman ’11 added the second run with a fielder’s choice. Lauren Huddleston ’10 added a RBI single, followed by Westman, who scored on a wild pitch.
The Elis pulled farther away with one run each in the fourth and sixth innings. Gutterud singled to score Katie Yanagisawa ’11 in the fourth. A clutch double in the sixth from Torres helped Yanagisawa score her third run of the game, solidifying Yale’s 6-0 rout.
“We were definitely hitting the ball much better than before and we were consistent throughout the lineup,” Tracy Timm ’10 said. “We’ve been improving on our bunts, which is really key to getting players into scoring position.”
The Bulldogs showed promising signs of continued momentum from Saturday’s doubleheader sweep into yesterday’s games, but Dartmouth’s rallies prevented Yale from following through. The Elis’ seven hits in Sunday’s first game outnumbered the Big Green’s five, but one of the home team’s hits was a clutch homer that cinched their victory.
Sunday was scoreless until the fifth inning of the first game, when Yale took an early lead with two runs in the top of the inning, the first of which was a homer from Megan Enyeart ’09. But Dartmouth immediately responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning, all of which were RBIs scored off the clutch homer. With no more runs from the Bulldogs in the rest of the game and two more from the Big Green in the sixth, the game ended 5-2 in Dartmouth’s favor.
“It’s always difficult to play the same team four times in a span of two days,” Torres said. “When it’s the second day, it’s hard to surprise them again and they know what to expect in terms of us hitting, so it’s always difficult to keep the edge.”
The Big Green continued their momentum in the second game of the day, coming out with three runs in the bottom of the first as a response to the Bulldogs’ first run in the top of the inning. Dartmouth scored another run in the second to secure an early lead that the Big Green held until the end.
Yale showed signs of a rally in the fifth inning with three hits, but the Bulldogs were only able to score one run and left two players on base. Dartmouth scored another run in the bottom of the inning for a total of five runs, which was enough to hold off the Elis despite a last-minute Bulldog run.
After hosting a mid-week game against Wagner on Wednesday, the Bulldogs will return to Ivy League play a final time this weekend, facing Brown for two games in Providence and two more in New Haven.
Since Harvard has cinched the North Division spot for the Ivy League championship game, Yale is no longer in the running for title. But the Elis said they are still entering this weekend expecting to put up a strong fight.
“At this point, we all kind of feel like it’s unacceptable not to win all six games we have left – everyone wants to win out just for the sake of winning out,” Timm said. “We don’t have a playoff to play for or a championship to play for, but we have our pride to play for, and that’s important.”