SOFTBALL | Nightfall spoils win

Christy Nelson’13 fields a ground ball during Yale’s doubleheader against Army. Yale won the first game 4–1 before falling 7–2 in the second.
Christy Nelson’13 fields a ground ball during Yale’s doubleheader against Army. Yale won the first game 4–1 before falling 7–2 in the second. Photo by Konrad Coutinho.

Some would say it’s meaningless to win a game that doesn’t count. But not the softball team.

The Bulldogs (4–11), after losing the first game on Wednesday to Fairfield (11–13) 3–1, were leading the second game 9–3 through three and a half innings before the game was prematurely ended due to an increasingly dark Alumni Field as the evening grew late.

Holly Gutterud ’10 pitches during Yale’s 4–1 win over Army on March 27. She gave up one run in seven innings Wednesday.
Holly Gutterud ’10 pitches during Yale’s 4–1 win over Army on March 27. She gave up one run in seven innings Wednesday.

As a softball game requires four and a half innings to be counted, the game does not count as a win for the Bulldogs.

“We still believe it was a win for us,” outfielder and captain Ashley Sloan ’10 said.

The teams had initially planned, because of weather conditions, to reduce the planned doubleheader to a single game whose start would be postponed to 4 p.m. But after playing a quick game, the teams decided to try to fit in another game.

In an ironic twist, the Eli bats came alive in that second game, earning five hits in the first inning alone, making the game take longer and, ultimately, contributing to the early finish of a likely Bulldog win.

The Elis started the first game unable to string together hits, stranding three runners on base through three scoreless innings. The Stags took a 2–0 lead after the third inning.

“We got there ready to play,” third baseman Allie Canulli ’10 said. “We just didn’t play as well as we could have.”

The Elis finally broke through in the fourth inning, scoring one run off an RBI from second-baseman Holly Gutterud ’10. Fairfield scored another run in the bottom of the fourth to take a 3–1 lead — and complete the game’s scoring.

Overall, Yale outhit Fairfield 7-5, but stranded seven runners on base. Gutterud and outfielder Lauren Huddleston ’10 had two hits apiece. Pitcher Kayla Kuretich ’10 gave up three earned runs and struck out four in four innings of work. Kuretich’s 18-inning streak without giving up an earned run ended in the second inning.

After the game, Sloan, Yale’s captain, got the team together to talk about what to improve upon.

“Our captain pulled us together and told us we deserve to play to our full potential,” catcher Lexi Peacock ’12 said. “She told us to focus more on our hitting.”

It worked. In the second game, the Bulldog offense cranked out 16 hits through four innings and exploded for seven runs in the third inning. Shortstop Meg Johnson ’12 had a two-run homer while third-baseman Christy Nelson ’13 added a three-run blast in the inning.

Sloan and Peacock each added two hits.

“The second game was a good way to end the day, with the bats coming alive,” Sloan said. “We were able to string a lot of hits together and chip away at the pitcher.”

Despite not being an official contest, Sloan added that the game will still give the team confidence going into Ivy League play this weekend.

The Bulldogs begin Ivy League play this weekend as they travel to Columbia on Friday and to Penn on Saturday for a pair of doubleheaders.

“I have very high expectations for this team,” Sloan said. “We expect to win an Ivy League title.”

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