The Yale softball team’s clutch hitting returned with a vengeance this weekend.
The Bulldogs (12-12) scored 26 runs over four games en route to sweeping a doubleheader with Army (3-9) and taking one out of two from Stony Brook (8-8) the following day.
Yale defeated host Army 11-2 and 4-0 Saturday and lost to Stony Brook 5-3 before coming back to defeat the Seawolves 8-2 in the back end of Sunday’s doubleheader in New Haven.
“We should’ve had two [wins] today,” head coach Andy Van Etten said after Sunday’s games. “But I’ll take three out of four anytime.”
The final win of the weekend saw a dominant performance by the Bulldogs. Yale manufactured eight runs and received another pitching gem from junior ace Cara Denver.
Denver’s strong throwing was matched early by Stony Brook’s Lindsey DeLaRosa, as both teams were held scoreless for the first three and a half innings. Yale finally broke through in the bottom of the fourth with two unearned runs. Aggressive base-running by the Bulldogs led the Seawolves to commit three errors in the inning.
Alice Liu ’01 scored on a throwing error by the Stony Brook catcher, and Jesseka Bartholomew ’03 scored on a Shayna Filson ’04 single.
“I was very disappointed with our defense [in the second game],” Stony Brook coach Megan Bryant said. “We made six errors. We shouldn’t have six errors in two weeks.”
The following inning, two more Seawolf errors led to four Bulldog runs and effectively sealed the win for Yale. Though Stony Brook got on the board with two unearned runs in the top of the sixth, Yale responded with two more of its own in the bottom of the inning, and the game ended with an 8-2 final score. Denver finished with a complete game five-hit victory, allowing only the two unearned runs in the sixth.
“It was a great team win,” captain Monica Lebron ’01 said. “Once we got on base, we used our speed and really made things happen.”
In the first game of the doubleheader, errors were again the key. But the miscues came from the Bulldogs this game, allowing Stony Brook to score two unearned runs in the eighth inning to come away with the victory.
Yale opened the scoring in the fourth inning when Lebron led off the inning with a bunt single, and Filson followed with a two-run home run to left. Stony Brook took the lead in the sixth inning when it scored three runs after Denver came on to relieve Jillian Miles ’01. Yale tied the game in the bottom of the seventh inning after Laura Beckert ’03 scored on a Seawolf throwing error. But Stony Brook responded with two unearned runs in the top of the eighth inning to win 5-3.
“We gave them five outs in the eighth inning,” Van Etten said. “And that’s why we lost.”
Saturday’s games went much better for the Bulldogs as the team displayed a complete all-around game.
“Against Army, our pitching was good, and we played great defense,” Van Etten said. “And we got timely hitting — and timely hitting is what it’s all about.”
In the first game, a home run from Filson and RBI singles from Lebron and Jackie Crispell ’03 were more than enough offense for Denver, who threw a five-hit shutout.
In the second game, Yale exploded for 11 runs punctuated by homers from Filson and Bartholomew. Filson also had a great day on the mound limiting the Black Knights to one earned run and six hits before the game was called after five innings.
“[On Saturday] we had two great wins,” Lebron said. “Everyone contributed — top to bottom. And we played very well.”
Yale will look to continue its fine play, having won four of its last five games, when it hosts Connecticut on Tuesday.
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