SOFTBALL | Elis crushed by northern rivals

The softball team fell to first-place Harvard in all four games this weekend.
The softball team fell to first-place Harvard in all four games this weekend. Photo by Henry Ehrenberg.

The women’s softball team was no match for first-place Harvard and fell in all four of its games Saturday and Sunday by considerable margins.

The Bulldogs (7–27, 1–11 Ivy) took their 14th straight loss and maintained their last-place status in the Ivy League. Over the course of the weekend, the Crimson (24–10, 11–1 Ivy) outscored the Elis by 43 runs.

“[The Crimson] had everything to lose. We had nothing to lose. Breaking our losing streak against Harvard would’ve been ideal,” Meg Johnson ’12 said.

The mercy rule cut three of the four games played short. Harvard won the first game 11–2 in six innings, the second 14–1 in five innings and the third 15–1 in five innings. But the Bulldogs showed some improvement and the closest game was the final matchup, in which Harvard beat Yale 9–2 after the Bulldogs rallied in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Harvard is known especially for its strong pitching staff, including three-time All-Ivy Rachel Brown. Crimson pitchers held Yale scoreless for 19 innings, and Brown only gave up two earned runs over two games.

“We went in with the expectation that we would put some runs on the board and give them a good game,” captain Christy Nelson ’13 said. “But they outhit our pitching.”

The Bulldogs struggled on defense as well. Harvard scored multiple runs in 12 of 16 innings and managed to score six runs in an inning twice and seven runs once. Team members said the Bulldogs should have put a stop to these innings early on.

“A lot of physical and mental mistakes out there really cost us,” Johnson said. “But again, it’s hard for every team to stay energized when you’re down by 11 runs.”

The Bulldogs were also out-staffed by the Crimson. While Yale had 13 able-bodied players, Harvard fielded an average of 17.5 a game. Yale could not afford the luxury of pinch runners and substitutes, and so some team members said the lack of energy was understandable.

Taking a step away from the scoreboard, the Bulldogs said they appreciated the opportunity to play their northern rivals. Johnson, in her fourth career Harvard-Yale game, described the excitement of the matchup.

“It’s a dream to play for your fans and family against your archrival,” Johnson said.

The Bulldogs have 12 games left this season.

Yale will next face Sacred Heart (16–25) in Fairfield on Wednesday at 3 p.m.

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