Heading into its final week before the opening of Ivy League play, the softball team got a little confidence booster yesterday afternoon. It also learned that it has the makings of a very dominant pitching staff.
Yale (12-9-1) traveled to Jamaica, N.Y., to play a doubleheader against St. John’s (10-14-1). In the first game, the Bulldogs defeated the Red Storm, 2-0, behind a one-hitter from Jillian Miles ’04. The nightcap ended in a 1-1 tie when the game was called after eight innings because of darkness.
The Elis have now won four of their last six contests and see their strong performance against a Big East school as a good sign of things to come.
“A win against a Big East school is really great for us,” said Julia Bossett ’05, who played the first game at first base and the second in right field. “It was fairly even, there weren’t a lot of errors — it was really a game of who could get hits and whose pitcher was going to do a better job.”
With the win, Miles improves to 6-2 on the season. In seven innings on the mound, Miles walked two batters and struck out two. The Red Storm’s only hit of the game came in the bottom of the first, when junior Alesha Argeras hit a single to center field.
“I felt really comfortable out there, where I feel awkward sometimes,” Miles said. “I felt that I was throwing well — I hit my corners and kind of let my defense do the work.”
Miles also managed to work her way out of a jam in the bottom of the sixth. With the bases loaded, Miles got senior Kelly Houghton to hit a grounder to third that ended the inning.
“I was just basically trying to get the ball in play,” Miles said. “I knew I could pretty much keep throwing it down the plate and they wouldn’t be getting any big hits.”
The Bulldogs jumped on the board early when Jesseka Bartholomew ’03 knocked in captain Laura Beckert ’02 in the first. It was Bartholomew’s 19th RBI of the season. The third baseman leads the Elis in RBIs, home runs and slugging percentage.
Bossett gave Yale a little bit of breathing room in the top of the sixth when she batted in shortstop Leah Kelley ’04. Kelley had the game’s only extra base hit, making contact for a double to start the inning.
Miles said the offense in both games just came down to who could capitalize on the other team’s mistakes.
“I think we just got some key hits that we needed, and when they had runners on, they didn’t get the key hits,” she said. “They walked a girl, and we scored her. The errors that the pitchers made, we capitalized on them.”
In the second game, the Bulldogs again scored first on a Bartholomew sacrifice fly that drove in Beckert, but St. John’s tied the game at one in the bottom of the sixth.
The game then became a pitcher’s duel, as Cara Denver ’02 and Meghan Allman both went the distance for their teams. In eight innings, Denver gave up just two hits, no walks, and struck out five. Denver has given up just four base-on-balls in 72 innings pitched this year.
Allman allowed three hits and two walks while striking out nine batters in the game.
Yale now has the weekend off before facing another Big East school, Providence, Wednesday.