SOFTBALL | Bulldogs on both sides of sweeps

Allie Canulli ’10 takes a ball high against Cornell on Saturday. Canulli had five RBIs in Yale’s two-game sweep of Princeton on the following day.
Allie Canulli ’10 takes a ball high against Cornell on Saturday. Canulli had five RBIs in Yale’s two-game sweep of Princeton on the following day. Photo by Konrad Coutinho.

It was a weekend of sweeps for the softball team. After being swept by Cornell (19–8, 5–1 Ivy) in a doubleheader on Saturday, the Bulldogs (8–17, 4–4) swept two games from Princeton (7–25, 1–7) for the first time ever on Sunday at DeWitt Family Field.

The doubleheader against Cornell, originally scheduled for Friday afternoon, was postponed to Saturday due to rain, pushing the doubleheader against Princeton to Sunday.

The Bulldogs began the series against Cornell once again struggling at the plate as they had in their previous game against Providence. Yale failed to earn a hit for the first three innings of the first game as Cornell’s pitcher Elizabeth Dalrymple gave the Elis trouble. Overall, Dalrymple retired the first 10 Yale batters before giving up singles to second baseman Katie Yanagisawa ’11 and shortstop Meg Johnson ’12 in the fourth.

First baseman Mariclaire Rebman ’11 earned the only other Bulldog hit in the fifth, as Cornell earned a 3–0 shutout victory.

“We put a lot of pressure on ourselves because we knew Cornell was a good team,” pitcher Holly Gutterud ’10 said. “We were very tense.”

In the loss, the Bulldog defense made plays in the field, highlighted by a shoestring catch from leftfielder Allie Canulli ’10 in the second and a diving snag from third baseman Christy Nelson ’13 in the fourth inning. Gutterud gave up three earned runs and six hits through four innings while pitcher Jackie Manzer ’13 gave up no runs or hits while striking out two through three innings of work.

The Bulldog offense came alive in the second game, as the team batted in 12 hits. Nevertheless, the Elis still struggled to score, finally scoring the first run of the day in the fourth inning on a Canulli home run to make the score 3–1.

Cornell scored twice in the fifth and twice in the sixth before Yale got two runs in the bottom of the sixth off a two-run double by catcher McKynlee Westman ’11. Cornell finished the game with a 7–3 win.

Yanagisawa had three hits while pitcher Kayla Kuretich ’10 knocked in two hits. Kuretich gave up five earned runs and struck out two through five innings while Manzer pitched two innings in relief, giving up two earned runs.

“It was pretty rough,” utility player Liz Tutino ’13 said of the losses. “We just had to refocus.”

The Elis certainly refocused the next day against Princeton, as they sent 10 batters to the plate and knocked in six runs in the first inning of the first game.

“We were definitely motivated after losing to Cornell,” Canulli said. “We were focused on our hitting.”

Yale took a 6–2 lead to the second, where an RBI double from Kuretich and an RBI single from Canulli gave the team a 8–2 lead. Nelson hit two-run single in the third to increase the lead to 10–2.

Utility player Chelsea Janes ’12 added an RBI double in the fourth to make it 11–2. The game was ended after four and a half innings due to the mercy rule.

“We came out ready to work,” Gutterud said. “We were having fun.”

Gutterud got her fourth win of the season after pitching all five innings, giving up only two earned runs.

In all, nine different players for the Bulldogs had a hit in the game. Nelson and Canulli had two hits each, as the Elis outhit Princeton 11-5.

The second game would be closer. Princeton took an early 2–0 lead in the first before Canulli scored off an error in the second to cut the deficit in half. Yale exploded for four runs in the third, capped by a two-out, two-run single from Rebman. Centerfielder and captain Ashley Sloan ’10 had an RBI single in the fourth to make it 6–2 before Princeton scored four times in the fifth to tie the game.

Canulli had the game-winning hit in the bottom of the sixth, knocking in a two-run single with two outs, giving the Elis an 8–6 win.

Manzer struck out five in 2.2 innings of relief to earn her first career victory. Sloan was 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI.

The Bulldogs will next play a doubleheader at Sacred Heart on Wednesday.

“We want to keep building on this momentum,” Gutterud said. “We’re confident we can keep this up.”

The first pitch against Sacred Heart is scheduled for 3 p.m.

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