SOFTBALL | Bulldogs hit seven-game losing streak

The softball team dropped its doubleheader against sacred Heart 8–0 and 15–6 due to defensive mistakes.
The softball team dropped its doubleheader against sacred Heart 8–0 and 15–6 due to defensive mistakes. Photo by Brianna Loo.

After being swept by Harvard in four games last weekend, the softball team was unable to win either game Wednesday night against Sacred Heart, falling 8–0 in five innings in the opener and 15–6 in the nightcap.

The Bulldogs (8–28, 3–9 Ivy) dropped their sixth and seventh consecutive games at the DeWitt Family Field largely due to the 11 unearned runs the team gave up over both ends of the doubleheader.

“We’ve [played good defense] in practice, so we can do it in games,” outfielder Riley Hughes ’15 said. “We need to make the game simple and execute.”

After retiring the first 10 batters in game one against the Pioneers (20–20, 4-8 Northeast), starting pitcher Chelsey Dunham ’14 gave up a single to Jenn Robillard, which was quickly followed by an RBI double to Annie Dreher to start the scoring. A Bulldog error later in the inning brought Dreher in to score, making the score 2–0 headed into the bottom of the fourth.

The Bulldogs could not capitalize off of a leadoff single from Hannah Brennan ’15, who advanced to second before a weak bunt ended the inning and left the Bulldogs runless. It was the Elis’ third straight inning with the leadoff hitter stranded in scoring position.

“We have to have a bit more of a sense of urgency and not think that we can wait until the last few innings [to score],” Hughes said.

In the top of the fifth, Sacred Heart broke the game open, scoring six runs to lead the Bulldogs 8–0. Due to the mercy rule, the game ended after just five innings.

In the second game, right-hander Rhydian Glass ’16 was given the hill, making her seventh start of the season. After a fairly smooth first inning, defense became her undoing. Two second-inning errors led to three unearned runs scoring on a lone hit for Sacred Heart. The Elis committed two more errors in each of the next two innings, allowing four more runners to cross the plate.

These setbacks, however, could not force the Bulldogs to roll over. A two-out RBI single from Jennifer Ong ’13 scored Brennan in the second, and the Elis plated two more in the third after a one-out double from Sarah Onorato ’15 and subsequent singles from Brittany Labbadia ’16 and team captain Christy Nelson ’13.

“The team has shown a lot of fight this year,” Onorato said. “We’ve been down in many instances and been able to come back.”

Onorato’s double was her 26th extra-base hit of the year. She broke the Yale single-season home run record last weekend against Harvard, and her average remains a robust .419.

“It’s just been about keeping things simple — seeing the ball and hitting it,” Onorato said.

The game remained at 7–3 until the sixth, when Yale encountered more success at the plate. Four hits, including a two-RBI double from Alex Lucas ’14, cut the deficit to just one.

Yale’s comeback did not last long. In the seventh inning, nine Sacred Heart batters reached base on five hits, three walks and a hit batsman, leading to eight runs. The Elis went down 1–2–3 in the bottom half, ending the game at 15–6.

Dartmouth comes to town this weekend for a four-game series with the Bulldogs. The first pitch is at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Comments