The softball team, which had high hopes for the 2002 season, finished its Ivy League schedule last Friday in a frustrating sixth place.
Yale (22-22-1, 5-9 Ivy) ended its season yesterday with two wins over Quinnipiac (16-22). The sweep in the doubleheader came after the Bulldogs dropped both games of their final Ivy League twin bill last Friday. The Bulldogs fell to Brown (14-20, 6-8 Ivy) in the first game 5-4 and then lost in the nightcap 5-1. Yale ended the season tied with Columbia for sixth place in the Ancient Eight.
“I think it was a very disappointing season,” captain Laura Beckert ’03 said. “We don’t feel that we played up to our potential. We were just one inning away in a bunch of our games from being 10-4 instead of 5-9.”
Yesterday at Dewitt Family field, the Elis swept the Braves for the second time this season. Yale took the first game 4-0 and second game 1-0.
Cara Denver ’02 pitched a three-hitter in her final start in a Yale uniform.
In 23 appearances on the mound, she has pitched 16 complete games while garnering a 1.09 ERA and giving up just 13 walks.
“Cara’s been solid on the mound. Anytime she throws a game for us, we’re right there in it,” Beckert said. “We just hope that everyone else will improve their game over the summer and that we’ll also get some strong freshmen.”
The Elis got off to a good start at home Friday, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning, including two runs off a Shayna Filson ’04 home run. Filson, Yale’s career home run leader, then went long again in the bottom of the fifth to make the score 4-1.
“Shayna, when she makes contact, hits the ball hard,” Beckert said.
Filson finished the season with a team-high 10 home runs.
But the three-run lead was not enough, as the Bears stormed back in sixth inning. Brown scored four runs on three hits and four Eli errors to seal the come-from-behind victory.
“We just laid back,” right fielder Jackie Crispell ’03 said. “We talked about how we couldn’t do that, but for some reason we stopped and thought three runs was enough.”
Cara Denver ’02 pitched a complete game, giving up six hits and one walk and allowing no earned runs.
With the loss, Denver fell to 7-8 on the season.
In the second game of the twin bill, Brown’s Marissa Berkes threw a two-hitter, allowing the Bulldogs just one run in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Yale, too, had a strong performance on the mound, as Jillian Miles ’04 kept the Bears scoreless until the top of the sixth inning.
But things began to unravel as Brown first baseman Cara Howe blasted a two-run shot over the right field fence.
The Bears went on to solidify the victory by scoring three more runs off of Miles and Filson, who pitched two innings of relief.
Only two of Brown’s five runs were earned as costly errors once again allowed Brown runners to cross the plate.
“They seemed to take advantage of all of our mistakes,” catcher Kristy Kwiatkowski ’05 said. “When we had an error they pushed it to make sure they got in the run.”
Kwiatkowski added that the Elis’ defense, which ranks second only to Penn in errors committed, was especially detrimental to the success of Yale’s season.
“Even though we haven’t gotten the production from our hitters that we would have liked, we haven’t been playing good defense,” Kwiatkowski said. “I think our pitchers have done their job and our defense has let them down.”
With the Eli nine remaining largely intact for 2003, Yale is already starting to look ahead to next season.
“It’s a matter of putting it all together,” Kwiatkowski said of the team’s potential. “I know we’ll come back next year strong and really wanting that Ivy title. I don’t think anybody’s intimidated by the talent out there.”