The softball team was at the mercy of Dartmouth this past weekend, dropping a four-game series to the top team in the Ivy League.
Yale (5–27, 1–11 Ivy) traveled to Hanover, N.H. to face Dartmouth (23–13, 12–0 Ivy), which has started its conference play undefeated this year. Harvard (21–11, 7–0 Ivy) is the only other remaining undefeated squad, although the Crimson has only played half of its Ancient Eight games due to poor weather conditions.
The Bulldogs challenged the Big Green all weekend.
“I think for the most part we were competitive with Dartmouth,” catcher Sarah Onorato ’15 said. “Although obviously disappointed by the results, there are a few things we can take away. Our defense was great all weekend, and we need to continue to increase our effectiveness at the plate. In many of the games we have played, we [have been] a timely hit or two away from changing the result. Focusing in at the plate, especially with runners on, is somewhere we can improve moving forward.”
In the first game of the series, Dartmouth needed extra innings to finally defeat the Elis 3–2. The game on Saturday afternoon was a pitcher’s duel from the start, with pitcher Kristen Leung ’14 starting in the circle for Yale. Leung scattered 11 hits across eight innings, allowing only two runs to the league’s top offensive lineup while striking out five.
Dartmouth pushed two runs across in the bottom of the fourth inning, stringing together a single and two doubles. With only one out and a runner in scoring position, the Bulldog defense put together a double play to end the inning. The Big Green threatened again in the sixth inning, loading the bases with no outs on three consecutive singles. Leung escaped the jam by striking out the next two batters and inducing a groundout.
Last season’s Ivy League Pitcher of the Year Kristen Rumley was cruising, pitching a two-hit shutout through the first six innings. In the top of the seventh, however, Yale struck back. Captain and center fielder Tori Balta ’14 led off with a double for her second hit of the game. First baseman Lauren Delgadillo ’16 then clubbed her second home run of the season, tying the game at two runs apiece.
The Big Green looked to respond in the home half of the inning but could not capitalize, stranding runners on first and second base. Neither team managed a hit in the eighth inning, sending the game to the ninth. Rumley, relieved by pitcher Morgan McCalmon in the ninth inning, performed on the plate as well as the mound. Her third single of the game was the difference maker, plating the wining run and giving Dartmouth the walk-off victory.
The second game of the day was not as tightly contested as the first, with the Big Green needing only six innings to defeat the Bulldogs 10–1. McCalmon, who came on in relief the first game pitched a complete game in the bottom of the doubleheader to pick up her seventh win of the year.
Dartmouth wasted no time in the second game, scoring in the bottom of the first inning when pitcher Chelsey Dunham ’14 gave up a bases-loaded walk. Yale responded quickly and scored in the next inning. Delgadillo picked up her third hit of the day and advanced to third on a ground out and single before scoring on a wild pitch.
Two walks to start the bottom of the fourth inning doomed Dunham, who allowed a three-run home run to first baseman Maeline Damore. Dartmouth tallied four more runs in the fifth inning, with Damore hitting her second home run of the game, this time a two-run shot.
The Elis looked to add runs to their total in the sixth, but they were unable to string together more than two singles. The Big Green again turned to Damore in the bottom of the sixth inning, and following a two-out walk she pounded out her third home run, adding two RBIs to her seven RBI total for the game. With Dartmouth ahead by more than eight runs, the game was called early.
The Bulldogs had an opportunity for redemption the next day with another doubleheader against the Big Green to look forward to. The Elis came out strong in the first game on Sunday afternoon, with Onorato tripling in the first at-bat. Following a walk to shortstop Laina Do ’17, Balta singled, scoring Onorato. With runners at first and third with no outs, Rumley, in the circle for the second consecutive day, retired the next three batters to escape the inning without further damage.
Dartmouth went three-up, three-down in its first two innings at the plate, but the Big Green would not be held hitless for long. The floodgates opened in the bottom of the third inning, as Dartmouth had seven hits, all singles, to score five runs. Yale was unable to close the deficit, falling 5–1.
The Elis had one last chance to record a win against Dartmouth in the fourth game of the series. Yale turned to pitcher Lindsay Efflandt ’17, who pitched the first three innings of Sunday’s first game. McCalmon started the game for the Big Green, and Yale, facing her for the third time in four games, finally seemed to figure out her pitches. The Bulldogs put the pressure on in the first inning, as Onorato walked and Do singled to begin the game. McCalmon, however, struck out the next batter and induced a twin killing to keep the game scoreless.
In the second inning, Yale broke through. Right fielder Camille Weisenbach ’17 singled with one out and third baseman Hannah Brennan followed up with a home run, putting the Elis ahead. Second baseman Rachel Paris ’17 then doubled, putting her in scoring position for Onorato, who hit a run-scoring single, giving the Bulldogs a three-run lead.
Dartmouth looked to its offense to make up the deficit, and the lineup scored two runs in the home half of the second inning to close the gap. Yale looked to extend its lead with a two-out rally in the fifth inning when Balta doubled. Delgadillo was intentionally walked and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. After another walk to load the bases, the Big Green brought in Rumley, who picked up the final out of the inning.
Another barrage of hits from Dartmouth, combined with a wild pitch, allowed the Big Green to take the lead with three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Yale was unable to mount another rally in its final two at-bats, leading to a final score of 5–3.
The Elis will be on the road again Wednesday, when they will play a doubleheader against Sacred Heart beginning at 3:00 p.m.