SOFTBALL: Yale wins on walk-off

The softball team took advantage of playing at home on Saturday afternoon, scoring in the bottom of the seventh inning to defeat Princeton in the second game of a doubleheader for its first win in 15 games.

Yale (4–22, 1–7 Ivy) faced two tough Ancient Eight foes in Cornell (12–15, 4–2) and Princeton (10–18, 3–3) this past weekend, posting a 1–3 record.

“I think that we played well this weekend and showed that we will never give up,” said captain and center fielder Tori Balta ’14. “We really dug deep as a team and put all of the pieces together in the last game.”

Head coach Jen Goodwin added that the team fought all weekend and was in every game until the last at-bat.

The first game of the doubleheader between the Bulldogs and the Big Red was a pitcher’s duel through six innings, with neither team pushing a run across the plate. Cornell threatened in the top of the third inning, with designated hitter Lauren Bucolo singling to start the inning. An error put runners at first and second base with no outs. An out later, another single loaded the bases before pitcher Lindsay Efflandt ’17 got the final two outs of the inning without allowing a single run.

Cornell loaded the bases again with two outs in the fourth inning but was stymied by Efflandt, who escaped the inning unscathed. Yale left two on base in the bottom of the fourth inning and did the same in the sixth but could not score. In the top of the seventh, the Big Red broke through with three runs, which proved to be the final margin as Cornell defeated the Elis 3–0.

In the rematch between the two teams later on Friday, the Bulldogs outhit the Big Red 6–5, but fell 5–3. Cornell strung together a series of hits in the third inning to go ahead 3–0. Yale struck back with a run of its own in the bottom half of the inning. The Elis then tied the game in the fifth off of first baseman Lauren Delgadillo’s first home run of the season, a two-run shot.

The Big Red struck again late in the ballgame, scoring two decisive runs in the sixth inning, both of which were unearned. Yale went quietly in its final two at-bats and was defeated 5–3.

The Bulldogs started off strong against Princeton the next day, putting two runs on the scoreboard in the first inning. Delgadillo picked up the two RBIs when her single scored second baseman Laina Do ’17 and shortstop Brittany Labbadia ’16.

The Elis looked as if they would pick up their first conference win of the year before the Tigers roared back with five runs in the seventh inning, two of which were unearned. The Bulldogs were unable to respond in the bottom of the inning, falling 5–2.

Yale, however, answered in the second game of the twin bill to win the game 2–1. Princeton crossed the plate first in the fourth inning, scoring an unearned run. A couple of hits in the bottom of the inning led to a run for the Bulldogs, who tied the game at one after an RBI double by catcher Sarah Onorato ’15 scored Balta.

The Elis had an opportunity to score in the sixth inning, but left two on base following singles from Balta and Onorato. Yale applied the pressure again in the squad’s final at-bat.  Right fielder Camille Weisenbach ’17 got things started with a two-out single. Labbadia followed with a single that was misplayed, allowing both runners to advance an extra base. With two runners in scoring position, Do singled to center field, plating the game-winning run.

“I’m proud of how the team battled and stayed in it until the bottom of the seventh of the last game, where we were able to string some hits together and get the win,” Goodwin said. “We saw some things come together for the team offensively, and we really had some defensive web gems this weekend, and our pitchers did a great job on the mound for us.”

The team now turns its attention to a doubleheader against Hartford at home on Wednesday afternoon before four games at Dartmouth this weekend.

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