Playing in record temperatures Wednesday, the softball team battled Connecticut to a draw in an intra-Nutmeg State showdown.
The Bulldogs (18-16-1, 4-4 Ivy) split an afternoon doubleheader with the Huskies (9-26) in Storrs. UConn grabbed the first game, 2-0, behind a one-hitter from their pitching ace, Barb Cook. Yale then rallied to take the second contest, 6-3.
“It would have been nice to have gotten them both,” shortstop Leah Kelley ’04 said. “We just didn’t hit very well in the first game and their infield did a nice job of picking up a lot of hard ground balls that we hit.”
Cook, who only four days ago took a line drive to the head, pitched a perfect game until the top of the seventh inning when Jackie Crispell ’03 singled up the middle. But while Yale was able to spoil the perfect game, they were not able to get anybody across the plate.
“[Cook] had a lot of good stuff,” Yale head coach Andy Van Etten said. “She moved the ball in and out and up and down and stood us on our ear.”
Both of the Huskies’ runs were unearned as Yale committed five errors in the first game.
The Yale batters quickly rebounded in the nightcap, scoring all six of their runs in the first inning. The Elis lit up UConn pitcher Jess Gurney for five hits and four runs before Huskies head coach Karen Mullins replaced Gurney with Claire Hesson. Hesson gave up two more runs before the inning was over, but settled down and gave up only one more hit to the Bulldogs.
“The roof fell in on [Gurney],” Van Etten said. “We had three or four doubles in a row. We chased her after four runs and they brought in a lefty.”
Leah Kelley ’04 was 2-3 in the second game with a run and an RBI. Center fielder Britni Fabacher ’04 had a two-RBI double in the bottom of the first.
“I think people fed off of each other,” Kelley said of the six-run barrage. “Being able to be confident when you go up to the plate after seeing your teammates getting hits is nice.”
Despite Yale’s commanding 6-0 lead, the Huskies refused to roll over. Down 6-1 in the bottom of the seventh, UConn started a two-out rally that scored two runs. But the comeback never materialized, as designated hitter Jessica Bigos grounded out to second base.
“We were just making errors,” pitcher Jillian Miles ’04 said. “They were hitting the outs that we needed, but we had some brain lapses and we weren’t thinking. Our coach came out and calmed us all down and we got the next out.”
Van Etten gave all three of his starting pitchers, Miles, Cara Denver ’02 and Shayna Filson ’04, time on the mound. Filson started game one, pitching five innings and allowing five hits. Denver then pitched the seventh inning of game one and the first three innings of the second contest. Miles rounded out the rotation, throwing four innings of relief in the nightcap.
Filson took the loss in the first game, dropping her record to 3-6. Miles garnered the win in game two, improving her record to a team-high 8-5.
Van Etten played all three Eli hurlers in order to prepare them for this weekend’s Ivy action.
Yale next travels to Princeton Saturday and Penn Sunday in its last Ivy League weekend of the season.