SOFTBALL | Defense falters against Stags

Shortstop Meg Johnson ’12 had a three-run homer in the first of the Elis’ games against Fairfield yesterday.
Shortstop Meg Johnson ’12 had a three-run homer in the first of the Elis’ games against Fairfield yesterday. Photo by Zoe Gorman.

The softball team got back on track offensively, but it wasn’t enough to get past Fairfield on Wednesday afternoon at Dewitt Family Field.

The Bulldogs (6–10) fell to the Stags (10–11) in both games of the doubleheader, 8–5 and 11–3. Yale has now hit an eight-game skid.

After hitting .201 as a team over the last six games, the Bulldogs finished the day with a combined 19 hits. Shortstop Meg Johnson ’12 had a big day for the Elis, going four for eight at bat, including a three-run homer in the first game.

“We’re starting to hit the ball, and our defense went out the window,” head coach Barbara Reinalda said. “We just have to keep them from scoring too many runs, bottom line.”

Despite trailing 6–0 in the first game, the Bulldogs came back to score five unanswered runs to get back in the game. But the Elis’ rally came up short, as Fairfield scored two insurance runs in the final inning to take the first game, 8–5.

The Stags first got on the board in the second inning. With the bases loaded and with two outs, Kimi Kurata doubled to clear the bases and give Fairfield a 3–0 lead. Kurata was brought home by an RBI triple from Kristen Filicia, who also scored during the same play on a throwing error.

Alli Wigand extended the Stags’ lead to 6–0 in the top of the third when she drove in Kristina Lingo from second with an RBI single.

Still, the Bulldogs battled back in the bottom of the third to make it a close game. Liz Tutino ’13 opened the inning with a walk and advanced to third on a double off the bat of second baseman Katie Yanagisawa ’11. After Tutino scored on a base hit from Mariclaire Rebman ’11, Johnson hit a three-run homer to center field that cut the deficit to 6–4.

The Elis made it a one-run game in the fifth after Rebman scored on a wild pitch.

“[After the game against Army] we were talking about how we wanted to keep the fight in us no matter what the score was, and we did a really good job of that in the first game starting out 6–0 and coming back and getting five runs,” captain and catcher McKynlee Westman ’11 said.

But the Stags added two insurance runs in the top of the seventh to build an 8–5 lead that the Bulldogs could not overcome.

The Bulldogs fell behind 4–0 early in the second game of the doubleheader, but they fought back to pull within two runs. However, the Stags used a five-run seventh inning to break open the game and come out with an 11–3 win over the Bulldogs.

In the first inning, Fairfield had runners on second and third with two outs and loaded the bases after Wigand was hit by a pitch. Rae Ball then singled to knock in one run and keep the bases loaded. The Stags took a 2–0 lead after Rachel Beaudoin walked to bring another runner home.

Fairfield got two more runs in the next frame after Tiffany Lawson’s single was followed by a home run from Lauren Liseth.

The Bulldogs got on the board in the second inning after left fielder Chelsey Locarno ‘12 hit an RBI single to drive in center fielder Tori Balta ’14 from third.

In the fourth inning, Virginia Waldrop ’12 singled and later scored on an RBI double from right fielder Jennifer Ong ’13 to cut Fairfield’s lead to 4–2.

Though the Bulldogs and the Stags both scored runs in the fifth to keep it a two-run game, Fairfield expanded its lead to 6–3 in the sixth. The Stags then exploded for five runs in the seventh inning. Fairfield took advantage of two Yale errors to score four unearned runs and pull away with the 11–3 win.

“Obviously it’s never fun to lose, but there were a lot of improvements we made in the batter’s box today,” Westman said. “Even if you look at the scorebook it might not say we had that many hits, but we had some really hard shots right at people, so I’m happy to see us come alive in the batter’s box. There are a lot of things on defense that kind of fell through today, but we’ve been strong on defense all season so I’m not worried about that coming back this weekend.”

Yale opens Ivy League play on the road this weekend with doubleheaders against Cornell and Princeton. The Elis will face off against the Big Red this Friday starting at 2 p.m. First pitch for the twinbill against the Tigers is slated for Sunday at 12:30 p.m.

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