In its only doubleheader against Columbia this year, the softball team came up short in its conference opener on Sunday afternoon, falling 3–2 in game one and 8–0 in five innings in game two.
Due to inclement weather, the Bulldogs had their weekend schedule rearranged. The Elis were originally slated to play Penn on Friday afternoon, but rain pushed those games to Monday afternoon. Thus, Yale opened its Ivy League schedule with a doubleheader against Columbia on Sunday afternoon.
The Bulldogs have high hopes for this season, and they have been preparing diligently on both the offensive and defensive ends, according to pitcher Rhydian Glass ’16.
“Our batting lineup has significant depth and power, and over these past few weeks, we have been focusing on making solid contact, putting the ball in play and really just being smart and aggressive up at the plate,” Glass said. “We’ve been preparing so much since the fall, at this point we are putting all the pieces together, in particular our mind-sets and game strategy. “
Yale (3–15, 0–2 Ivy), however, could not apply all its skills on Sunday and had a rough start, losing a tight first game to Columbia (13–9, 4–0), 3–2, before dropping game two 8–0 in five innings.
Columbia began its conference play on Mar. 28 with a sweep against Brown, and the Lions carried their momentum into their games against the Bulldogs. Columbia struck first against the Elis in game one, scoring a pair of runs in the home half of the second inning.
Yale, still hitless in the game entering the sixth inning, was able to score following a double from second basemen Laina Do ’17 and a sacrifice fly from shortstop Brittany Labbadia ’16. Columbia, however, retaliated in its half of the inning, scoring an unearned run following an error by the Bulldogs.
The Elis, down two runs going into the last inning of play, scored again in their final at bat. Third baseman Hannah Brennan ’15 homered on the seventh pitch of her at-bat with no outs in the seventh inning. Down only one run, Yale was unable to string together any more hits, losing 3–2.
In six innings of work, pitcher Lindsay Efflandt ’17 was impressive in her Ivy League debut, allowing two earned runs on eight hits, none of which were extra base hits, while striking out three.
The second game of the doubleheader was not as competitive. Yale again only mustered two hits throughout the entire game. Captain and center fielder Tori Balta ’14 doubled in the first inning, and Labbadia singled in the fourth inning.
An error doomed the Bulldogs in the first inning, accounting for two unearned runs. Columbia scored a total of five runs in the first inning on five hits, including three singles and two doubles. The Lions had another spurt in the third inning, helped along by an error from Yale, piling on three runs through a solo shot over the fence and three singles.
With Yale unable to score any runs, the game ended in the fifth inning as a result of the mercy rule. The Elis dropped the game 8–0.
Pitcher Chelsey Dunham ’14 started the game for the Bulldogs, allowing six runs, four earned, on six hits and three walks. Pitcher Kristen Leung ’14 relieved Dunham in the third inning and faced 10 batters, allowing two runs, one earned, on four hits and one walk.
The weekend is not over for the Bulldogs yet, as they have a double header against Penn today.
“We will continue to make adjustments that we know we are more than capable of making, and we will thrive as the season continues,” Efflandt said. “We always stress that every day we make a 1 percent improvement both as individual players and as a team. After this weekend, we will have more reps and more games under our belt. We will be even hungrier for more wins than we already are.”
The Elis will look to end this eight-game skid when they face the Quakers starting at 3 pm.