SOFTBALL | Crimson have no trouble in sweep

Outfielder Lauren Huddleston ’10 has 12 hits, five RBIs and one home run this season.  She had a hit in the Elis’ 10–3 loss to Harvard.
Outfielder Lauren Huddleston ’10 has 12 hits, five RBIs and one home run this season. She had a hit in the Elis’ 10–3 loss to Harvard. Photo by Konrad Coutinho.

The softball team was two outs from splitting a doubleheader with archrival Harvard, but a 10-run explosion by the Crimson in the seventh inning of game two capped off a road sweep for the Crimson (20–20, 11–3 Ivy) Saturday at Dewitt Family Field.

The Bulldogs (9–24, 4–10) were shutout 6–0 by Harvard in the first game before losing the second game in the seventh.

“After the games, our coach told us we are a much stronger team than what we showed Harvard on Saturday,” catcher McKynlee Westman ’11 said. “We’re really excited to come out and show Harvard how much stronger we really are in our next doubleheader.”

The second doubleheader against the Cantabs, originally scheduled for Sunday, was pushed back to Tuesday due to rain.

In the first game, the Elis struggled to hit against Crimson pitcher Rachel Brown, who leads the Ivy League in ERA. Brown took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before leftfielder Allie Canulli ’10 spoiled Brown’s bid with a single, which would be Yale’s only hit of the game.

Brown allowed only four baserunners the entire game, striking out 16 en route to a one-hit shutout.

Pitcher Holly Gutterud ’10 pitched a complete game in a losing effort, giving up two earned runs while striking out three. The Bulldogs committed two errors, which also led to two Cantab runs.

The second game would be much different.

The Elis grabbed a 1–0 lead in the third inning off an RBI single from shortstop Christy Nelson ’13. Yale added to the lead in the fourth when rightfielder Lauren Huddleston ’10 led off with a single before being replaced by pinch-runner Chelsey Locarno ’12. Locarno was then thrown out as catcher Lexi Peacock ’12 reached on a fielder’s choice. Centerfielder and captain Ashley Sloan ’10 doubled to score Peacock before a double from Canulli scored Sloan. Yale tooks its 3–0 lead all the way into the seventh inning.

Unfortunately for the Elis, the lead would not stand. After pitcher Kayla Kuretich ’10 got the first out of the inning, the floodgates opened, as the Cantabs batted home 10 runs off seven hits and two errors.

“Things kind of broke down in the seventh inning,” Canulli said. “It’s unfortunate because we played really well before that inning.”

The mistakes proved infectious during the inning, as each error led to more mistakes, Westman said.

When the damage was done, Harvard escaped with a 10–3 win.

Both teams finished the game with 11 hits. Sloan, Nelson, Peacock and designated hitter Meg Johnson ’12 each had two hits. Kuretich gave up five earned runs, all in the seventh inning, and struck out two through 6.1 innings of work. Gutterud got the last two outs for the Elis.

Sloan’s two hits put her career total at 186, four shy of Yale’s all-time softball hits record.

“We’re just trying to take advantage of every moment we have,” Sloan said of the seniors’ final games. “It ends pretty quickly.”

Yale is currently third in the Ivy League North Division, and already out of contention for an Ivy League championship. Harvard currently leads Dartmouth by one game in the North Division.

The Bulldogs will try to get revenge against the Cantabs on Tuesday.

“These games are important for us,” Canulli said. “We’re looking forward to getting a pair of wins.”

First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at Dewitt Family Field.

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