The softball team gave its five freshmen a chance to gain some college game experience yesterday as it took on the University of New Haven in the New Haven City Series at Quinnipiac. Despite jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, the Bulldogs lost the contest 4-3.

Yale, which finished sixth in the Ivy League in 2002, will play two more fall season games before putting the bats and gloves away for the winter.

“It gives the coaches a chance to see what the talent level of the team is and what you need to work on in the off-season,” said Laura Beckert ’03.

With the game tied at two in the bottom of the fifth, freshman Beth Pavlicek announced her arrival with a solo home run. Pavlicek, a native of Sugar Land, Texas, went 2-4 on the day with two runs and an RBI.

But Pavlicek’s offensive outburst was not enough, as the Chargers hit a two-run shot off of Ashley Linnenbank ’06 in the top of the seventh to steal the win away from the Bulldogs.

Linnenbank, also from Sugar Land, pitched two innings of relief in the game. Jillian Miles ’04, who went 9-7 with a 2.40 ERA in 2002, threw the first five innings.

Pitching will be one of the biggest question marks for the Elis this year as Miles is the only returning hurler. Linnenbank is one of three freshmen, a right-hander and two southpaws, who could see experience on the mound come springtime.

“They’re going to have to get used to college pitching,” catcher Kristy Kwiatkowski ’05 said. “They’re all different styles; it gives us a lot of options.”

Yale will face Adelphi University next Saturday and then take on Southern Connecticut State Oct. 13.

–Caroline Nathan