SOFTBALL | Bulldogs split vs. Marist

Allie Canulli ’10 has the third-most RBIs of the Bulldogs, with 15, but defense may be most important for the softball team this weekend.
Allie Canulli ’10 has the third-most RBIs of the Bulldogs, with 15, but defense may be most important for the softball team this weekend. Photo by Konrad Coutinho.

It is said that one of the hardest things to do in sports is come back from a devastating loss. But not for the softball team.

In a double-header against the Marist Red Foxes (4–14), the Bulldogs (3–9) suffered a tough 4–3 loss in the first game before a dominant one-hitter pitching performance from pitcher Kayla Kuretich ’10 led the Elis to an impressive 3–0 shutout in the second game.

“Overall, we had a good day,” outfielder Lauren Huddleston ’10 said. “We started out flat in the first game, though.”

The Elis started the day with three scoreless innings, stranding three baserunners as the Red Foxes took a 1-0 lead into the fourth inning. In the fourth, the Bulldogs finally put runs on the board as both pitcher Holly Gutterud ’10 and first-baseman Kelsey Warkentine ’13 scored on wild pitches to give Yale a 2–1 lead.

Sloppy play and mental mistakes from both teams abounded during the game, said pitcher Jackie Manzer ’13, who pitched six and a third innings.

In the fifth inning, the Red Foxes responded with three hits, scoring two runs and regaining the lead 3–2. The sixth inning went by quickly with only one hit from either team. The game would come down to the seventh inning.

In the top of the inning, Huddleston grounded out before utility player Christy Nelson ’13 hit a clutch home run, tying the game at 3–3.

Yet, Marist would respond once again in the bottom of the seventh. A series of walks loaded the bases before a slow grounder from Nicole DiVirgilio was fielded by second-baseman Jennifer Ong ’13, who threw home. Unfortunately for Yale, the throw was just late, allowing Ashley Coriss to score the winning run.

“It was a heartbreaker,” Manzer said. “Neither team really deserved to win because of all the mistakes.”

Both teams had eight hits in the game. Manzer lost her third game of the season, striking out five, walking four, and giving up three earned runs.

The Elis had to quickly regroup from the tough loss for the next game of the doubleheader. In between games, the team discussed areas in which to improve, Manzer said.

“You give everything you learned to the next pitcher,” she said. “It’s like getting another chance.”

The Bulldogs certainly made use of their second chance, as Kuretich dominated the game from the start. Going into the fifth inning, Kuretich had pitched a no-hitter, allowing only two players to reach base, as the game remained scoreless.

Huddleston would change that. After catcher Lexi Peacock ’12 was hit by a pitch and outfielder and captain Ashley Sloan ’10 singled, the first-team All-Ivy Huddleston homered to left field, driving in the game’s only three runs.

That would be all the runs Yale needed as Kuretich took the no-hitter into the seventh, ending the game with a one-hitter shutout performance and striking out six to earn her second win of the season.

Despite her performance, she said it wasn’t her best effort.

“You have to take it one pitch at a time,” Kuretich said. “I got lucky with some of my mistakes.”

The Bulldogs continue their non-conference play in a doubleheader against Army (8–6) on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled at 1 p.m. at Dewitt Family Field.

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