After starting off Ivy League competition with two losses, the softball team used offensive outbursts to lift itself to its first conference win of the season.
The Bulldogs (7–13, 1–3 Ivy) dropped a doubleheader at Cornell (14–12–1, 3–1) on Saturday but earned a split against Princeton (10–14, 2–2) on Sunday. The team’s win against Princeton snapped a ten-game losing streak.
Despite outhitting the Big Red in both games, Yale was swept by its Ancient Eight rivals, 3–0 and 10–2.
“Obviously we didn’t want to come out and lose our first two Ivy games, but if you look at the stats from the game, we outhit Cornell,” captain and catcher McKynlee Westman said. “Our hits just didn’t come in a row.”
In the first game, Cornell pitcher Elizabeth Dalrymple pitched a four-hit shutout en route to a 3–0 win over the Bulldogs. Dalrymple finished the game with 11 strikeouts and no walks.
Dalrymple’s performance overshadowed a strong outing by Yale pitcher Chelsey Dunham ’14, who allowed just three runs — two earned — on three hits through six innings of work.
The Big Red scored two runs in the second inning after Christina Villalon walked and scored on an RBI triple by Morgan Cawley. Cawley then scored on a passed ball to give Cornell a 2–0 lead. The Big Red also got an insurance run in the sixth on an RBI double off the bat of Villalon.
Dalrymple did not allow a hit until the fourth inning, when right fielder Jennifer Ong ’13 opened the frame with a leadoff single. Ong was ultimately left stranded, as Dalrymple struck out the next three batters to end the inning.
Cornell also took the nightcap, 10–2. Though the Elis collected nine hits in the second game, they struggled to capitalize on scoring chances and left eight runners stranded.
In the first inning, the Big Red loaded the bases with no outs and scored two runs on a pair of RBI groundouts to take an early 2–0 lead.
The Bulldogs responded in the next frame when they loaded the bases and got a run off a sacrifice fly from center fielder Tori Balta ’14.
Cornell seized control of the game with a four-run second inning that extended its lead to 6–1. The Big Red also got a run in the fifth and added three more in the sixth.
The Elis’ second run came in the fifth stanza when they loaded the bases and scored on a sacrifice fly from shortstop Meg Johnson ’12.
“They didn’t come out here and solidly beat us, even though the scoreboard looks like it,” Westman said. “We kind of helped them beat us, so while that’s frustrating, it does give us hope and confidence that we can go against other Ivy teams and come out on the right end.”
The Elis continued league action the next day with a doubleheader at Princeton. Though the Bulldogs cruised to a 9–0 win in the first game, the Tigers took the nightcap, 13–12, on a walk-off homer. Dunham was stellar in the first game, pitching a three-hit shutout to help the Bulldogs earn their first Ivy League win of the season and break their ten-game skid. The Elis were also strong at the plate and finished the game with 12 hits, including homers from Ong and third baseman Christy Nelson ’13.
“It was really nice to get our first Ivy win,” Ong said. “It was a great team effort and everyone contributed.”
Yale got all the runs it needed in the third, when it exploded for seven runs. The Elis loaded the bases after Balta and left fielder Virginia Waldrop ’12 both singled and Ong walked. The Bulldogs got on the board after second baseman Katie Yanagisawa ’11 reached on an error, bringing in Balta from third. A single from first baseman Mariclaire Rebman ’11 drove in Waldrop, and Ong and Yanagisawa scored on a double by Johnson. Nelson then hit a three-run shot down the left field line to put the Bulldogs up 7–0.
Yale added two runs in the sixth on an RBI single from Johnson.
In the second game, the Bulldogs rallied from an eight-run deficit to tie the game, but Sarah Rounsifer’s walk-off homer in the bottom of the seventh kept the Elis from completing the comeback.
Trailing 9–1 after four innings, the Elis got back in the game with seven runs in the fifth. Balta and Waldrop both walked to open the frame and scored after Ong hit her second home run of the day to cut the deficit to 9–4.
“I wasn’t trying to hit a home run,” Ong said. “I was just trying to move the runners over. We were all over this pitcher, so it was just a matter of time before the rally got started.”
Yale got three more runs on RBI doubles from Johnson and Westman, and an RBI single from Waldrop brought the Bulldogs within one run.
Though the Tigers opened up a 12–8 lead after scoring three runs in the fifth, the Elis responded by scoring twice in the sixth and twice in the seventh to tie the game at 12–12.
But the Bulldogs’ hopes for a comeback were crushed after Rounsifer homered in the bottom of the seventh to give the home team the win.
“Even though we didn’t end up winning the game, it really showed that our team has character,” Ong said. “Being able to come back when you are down that much shows heart.”
Yale is off until Wednesday when it travels to Providence for a doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.