SOFTBALL | Streak broken, as Big Green take three

The softball team fell to third in the Ivy League’s North Division after dropping three of four games to Dartmouth last weekend.
The softball team fell to third in the Ivy League’s North Division after dropping three of four games to Dartmouth last weekend. Photo by Brianne Bowen.

The softball team went into the weekend looking to build on its six-game winning streak, but Ivy League rival Dartmouth proved to be a roadblock to success.

The Big Green snapped the Elis’ streak by winning three out of four games at Yale over the weekend. The Bulldogs (14–18, 6–6 Ivy) dropped the first doubleheader against Dartmouth (14–15, 7–5) before earning a split the following day. Yale is now in third place in the North Division, while Dartmouth rose from fourth to second.

“I definitely think that for the whole weekend they didn’t beat us per se,” second baseman Katie Yanagisawa ’11 said. “I think that we gave them too many opportunities and made errors. We also didn’t get timely hits like they did.”

The series began on Saturday when the Big Green took both games of the first doubleheader on a cold, windy day at Dewitt Family Field.

Though the Elis outhit Dartmouth in the first game, a two-run homer by Molly Khalil in the fourth inning lifted the visitors to a 2–1 win over the Bulldogs.

“We definitely had a lot of opportunities to come out and win the first game,” captain and catcher McKynlee Westman ’11 said. “We played solid defense, and the difference was one single hit that went over the fence.”

The Bulldogs’ lone run came in the fifth when shortstop Meg Johnson ’12 doubled and scored on an RBI double from center fielder Tori Balta ’14.

Yale threatened to score in the sixth when it loaded the bases, but it could not capitalize on the scoring opportunity.

The Big Green then took the nightcap, 9–1, in six innings.

The visitors took advantage of three Yale errors in the first inning to open up an early 4–0 lead and added three more runs in the third.

Yale got on the board in the bottom of the third after right fielder Jennifer Ong ’13 doubled to drive in designated player Kelsey Warkentine ’13, but it would be their only run of the game.

The Bulldogs avoided a weekend sweep by winning the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader, but the Big Green took the nightcap to win the season series.

In the opener, the Elis erased a 2–0 deficit and scored three unanswered runs to earn a come-from-behind victory.

Dartmouth took an early 2–0 lead in the first inning when Kat Hicks and Alex St. Romain both walked with the bases loaded.

The Bulldogs pulled within one run in the bottom of the sixth. Yanagisawa led off the frame with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by first baseman Mariclaire Rebman ’11. She then scored on an error to cut the Big Green’s lead to 2–1.

Yale completed the comeback by scoring twice in the bottom of the seventh to take the 3–2 win. The Bulldogs loaded the bases with two outs and tied the game after Nelson walked to score Ong. The Elis scored the game-winning run on a passed ball that allowed Yanagisawa to sprint home from third and slid to beat the throw.

“We’ve been showing that we definitely have it in us to come back from behind,” Yanagisawa said. “We never give up. It shows a lot of character that we can get those runs every single time. It kind of sucks to always have to come from behind, but we can do it.”

Though the Elis also put together a rally in the nightcap, it wasn’t enough to overcome a five-run deficit, allowing Dartmouth to emerge with a 7–5 win.

Dartmouth struck first in the third after Noelle Ramirez hit a solo shot to left field to give the visitors a 1–0 lead.

Still, the Elis responded in the bottom of the frame. Ong opened the inning with a single and moved to second on a groundout by Yanagisawa. Third baseman Christy Nelson ’13 then drove in Ong with a double to right field to tie the game. Westman gave Yale a 2–1 lead with an RBI single.

The Big Green answered back in the next inning when they took advantage of three Yale miscues to score three runs and go up 4–2.

The Bulldogs threatened in the bottom of the fourth when Johnson led off the inning with a double and moved to third on a single by Warkentine. The next batter, left fielder Chelsey Locarno ‘12, bunted to try to bring in Johnson from third, but Johnson was called out at the plate. The Elis then loaded the bases after Yanagisawa walked, but the next batter grounded out to end the inning.

Dartmouth extended its lead in the fifth with a two-run homer by pitcher Hillary Barker and added an insurance run in the sixth to go up 7–2.

Still, the Elis got back in the game with three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Yale loaded the bases and scored on an error that allowed Rebman to reach first. The next batter, Nelson, then singled to drive in two runs and cut Dartmouth’s lead to 7–5.

Though a Dartmouth error helped the Bulldogs bring the tying run to the plate in the seventh, they could not take advantage of the opportunity and allowed the Big Green to come out with their third win of the weekend.

Yale is back in action on Wednesday with a doubleheader at Wagner. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.

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