On Tuesday, the softball team finally got its chance to play Ivy League rival Cornell in a doubleheader that was postponed after the games slated for Sunday had been rained out. But the games were not worth the wait.
After the five-hour drive to Cornell (23-5, 4-0 Ivy), the Elis (10-14, 1-3) eagerly took the field, but took a close 4-2 loss in their first game and a 12-3 loss in their second.
The first game remained scoreless through the early innings, but the Big Red would be the first to expose a chink in the Bulldog armor in the bottom of the third inning, when the Cornell leftfielder reached based on a walk by Rebecca Wojciak ’09. The Big Red would eventually score their first run to go up 1-0 on a double by their second baseman.
Yale came right back in the fourth inning as the Elis managed to tie the game with a one out rally started by right fielder Lauren Huddleston ’10 who was driven home one out later on a Meagan Enyeart ’09 double to center field.
The game’s momentum continued to shift back and forth as Cornell would not go down without a fight. Things were going well for the Bulldogs in the bottom of the fourth inning until costly errors led to a surge in the Big Red’s offense. With two outs in the inning leftfielder Virginia Waldrop ’12, dropped a pop fly and Cornell’s center fielder capitalized on the opportunity driving home the go-ahead-run with a double.
The Bulldogs were unable to get any runs across before the Big Red came back up to bat in the bottom half of the fifth inning. Cornell strengthened their lead over Yale with a two-run home run.
However, the game was not over for the Elis. Yale opened the top of the sixth inning with a single up the middle by centerfielder Ashley Sloan ’10 followed by a single by second baseman Katie Yanagisawa ’11. Designated hitter Katie Edwards ’09 managed to bring a run home, but the Bulldogs rally ended prematurely with a pop out and a strikeout.
The inning marked the Elis last chance to strike at the Cornell lead, as Yale would go on to lose the first game 4-2, but the Elis remain confident about their abilities.
“We played with them really tough,” third baseman Mariclaire Rebman ’11 said. “We will sweep the Ivies on our side if we play with the heart we have played with.”
In the second game of the day, Yale came out swinging in the first inning as they sought to bounce back from the first game loss.
The Elis wasted no time as the Bulldog bats combined for two runs in the top of the first inning starting with a leadoff double by Sloan. Yanagisawa followed with a walk and the runners were brought home by an Edwards double giving Yale a 2-0 lead over Cornell.
The Big Red struck back in the bottom of the inning powering home four runs on two home runs. The early success forced a pitching change for Yale as Kayla Kuretich ’10 came in to replace Deanna DiBernardi ’09.
The game would continue to be an uphill battle as Cornell logged three more runs over the course of the second and third innings.
The Bulldogs tried to stage a comeback in the top of the fourth as Johnson started the inning with a single. Waldrop brought shortstop Meg Johnson ‘12 home after a McKynlee Westman ’11 sac bunt and a Rebman single. The Elis ended the top of the inning with only one run as Sloan grounded out to end the inning.
The game ended after the top of the fifth when Cornell, after scoring five runs in the bottom of the fourth, held the Elis scoreless in the top half of the inning. Cornell solidified a 12-3 victory over Yale, but the Elis are confident that today will have little effect on how they play in the future.
“Today’s games were disappointing,” captain and first baseman Enyeart said. “But we’ll bounce back.”
The Elis are looking to today’s game to erase the memories of Tuesday’s.
“The good thing about today is we have tomorrow,” said Sloan after Tuesday’s contests.
The softball team will take on Fairfield today in a doubleheader at Dewitt Family Field starting at 2:30 p.m.