Playing 14 games in nine days of Florida heat, the softball team stumbled out of the blocks with a string of tight losses.

In Florida, the Bulldogs (2-14) lost 12 games, including seven one-run losses and four in extra innings, by a total of 19 runs.

“The spring training trip to Florida went pretty well, despite our lackluster record,” outfielder Laura Beckert ’03 said. “We were in every ballgame [never losing by more than 3 runs]. The challenge now is to take what we learned and put it all together, so that we can get some wins. We are a fairly young team, so each game just adds more experience — giving us more to work on, while also getting us better prepared.”

After losing both ends of a doubleheader to Quinnipiac University Sunday, the Elis stand at 2-14 on the young season but remain confident that with “spring training” passed, the gained experience will help the team up North.

Yale squandered early leads in both games Sunday, and the Bobcats combined for 23 hits in the two games to win 10-6 and 4-2.

“It has been a growing experience,” said shortstop Rina Brannen ’04, who was third on the team in hitting with a .312 average on the trip until she tore a hamstring and had to be sidelined. “We feel that next time we are in those situations, the errors will diminish, and we should come out on top. Our experience in those close games will only be to our advantage when we are playing our Ivy League games.”

The Elis opened the season with seven consecutive losses to Colorado State, Evansville, Youngstown State, St. Joseph’s, Stetson (twice) and Lehigh before thumping Niagara, 9-0. The only other victory came over Fairleigh Dickinson, a game sandwiched between a repeat loss to Colorado State and losses to Maine, Colgate, IUPUI and St. Peter’s.

Handicapped by the weather up north, which postponed Yale’s only two games scheduled before spring break, Yale competed against teams that had already fine-tuned their lineups and worked out the early-season kinks.

“A lot of the one-run losses were a result of experience and energy,” said Margaret Hunt ’06, who is second on the team with a 2.28 ERA despite an 0-8 record. “We were playing so many games, that as we gained experience, we got more tired. But we feel like we played really, really well.”

Captain Jesseka Bartholomew ’03 leads the team in hitting with a .400 batting average; Britni Fabacher ’04 has three triples and a home run for a team-leading slugging percentage of .588.

With phase one of the season over, the Bulldogs must build on the lessons learned down South to ensure their season does not head in the same direction.

“In spite of our losing record, we are feeling very strong as a team,” Brannen said. “Although our losses far outnumber our wins, we are very pleased with our performance in Florida. We are going into our games back home with high spirits.”