SOFTBALL | First victory over Princeton in five years

The softball team on Saturday played its first Ivy League conference games of the season, splitting a doubleheader at Princeton.

In their first game of the day, the Elis (10-12, 1-1 Ivy) fought back valiantly for a comeback win after falling behind Princeton (7-11, 2-2 Ivy) in the early innings.

Topping Princeton in their first Ivy game of the year was a confidence-booster for the team, Kayla Kuretich ’10 said.

“The fact that we were able to compete with the defending champs and come out on top confirms our beliefs that the Ivy League title is within our reach,” the pitcher said.

A long-awaited victory

The Bulldogs were down early as pitcher Rebecca Wojciak ’09 began the game with a rough first inning. Wojciak gave up two runs in the inning off a walk to the Tiger’s shortstop, followed by a home run by their right fielder. Wojciak managed to get out of the inning with an out caught in third base foul territory.

It would not be long, however, before the Yale bats came alive to bring the game to a tie. In the top of the third inning the Elis scored two runs on two hits in an inning started by left fielder Virginia Waldrop ’12 with a single to shortstop. Waldrop would later score after sacrifice bunt by outfielder Ashley Sloan ’10 and a double by second baseman Katie Yanagisawa ’11. Yanagisawa would go onto score Yale’s second run in the inning on a sacrifice fly ball by outfielder Lauren Huddleston ’10.

The game proved to be a tight one, with both teams waiting for the other to blink first as the game would remain tied at two until the top of the sixth inning. Wojciak, who had started the game giving up two runs to Princeton, would complete the game with zero earned runs in the following six innings and four strikeouts.

Princeton was the first team to falter when right fielder Lauren Huddleston ’10 reached first base on a fielding error by the pitcher in the top of the sixth inning. Huddleston then advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by catcher Katie Edwards ’09. Huddleston then scored the winning run on a fielding error by the shortstop on a ball hit by shortstop Meg Johnson ’12.

The win was a big one for the Elis, as it was the first time they had beaten the Tigers since 2004.

“We were pretty happy to have split the games this weekend,” captain and first baseman Megan Enyeart ’09 said “This is the first time since I have been here.”

The tables are turned

During the second game of the day, the Bulldogs found themselves in familiar territory when they were down against Princeton early on.

The Tigers struck for their first run in the second inning when their right fielder Kelsey Quist reached first base on a fielding error. Quist would later score to put Princeton up 1-0 over Yale. The Tigers scored their second run in the following inning, when pitcher Deanna DiBernardi ’09 gave up one run on three hits.

The Bulldogs staged a comeback in the top of the fifth inning with a rally started by an Enyeart double. Catcher McKynlee Westman ’11 walked, putting the tying run on base, and Waldrop came up big for the second time during the day, driving a single up the middle to score Enyeart and Westman and tie the game.

The Elis were not able to hold the lead for long, however, as the Tigers went on to take advantage of costly errors in the bottom of the seventh. Pitcher Kayla Kuretich ’10 gave up one run on one hit and two errors in the bottom of the seventh, allowing for a Princeton victory.

“It’s dangerous to go into the bottom of the seventh tied,” Kuretich said. “We should have put a little more insurance up on the board.”

The Elis’ road trip was cut short by the wet weather, which caused their Sunday games at Cornell to be postponed. For the Bulldogs, however, the trip was not completely unsuccessful, as they played two hard-fought games.

“Overall, we played really well,” Yanagisawa said. “We had some really timely hits and felt pretty good, even though you would rather win both games.”

The Bulldogs will be back on the field and looking to score some more Ivy League victories on Tuesday with a rescheduled doubleheader at Cornell starting at 12:30 p.m.

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