Having dropped the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader at Providence College, the softball team seemed poised to salvage a split after Kristy Kwiatkowski ’05 doubled home the go-ahead run in the top of the seventh inning.

The lead still seemed safe in the bottom of the inning with ace pitcher Beth Pavlicek ’06 on in relief. But with two outs and two strikes on her, Providence freshman Michelle Willette hit a backbreaking walk-off two-run home run to give the Friars a 5-4 victory and a sweep.

The long ball played havoc with Yale’s pitchers all day. The Friars (15-15) hit two home runs in the opener en route to an 11-1 mercy-rule-shortened victory and three more in the second game. In all, Providence belted out 18 hits.

The Bulldogs (16-22, 4-4 Ivy) never had a chance in the opener. Jillian Miles ’04 and Ashley Linnenbank ’06 both struggled on the mound, giving up all 11 runs in the first three innings. Providence scored two in the first, three in the second and five in the third. Sarah Morin and Elena Romero went deep for the Friars in both games. Yale did commit two errors defensively, but they led to only one unearned run.

Right fielder Jackie Crispell ’03 drove in the lone Bulldog run in the fourth inning, which was not nearly enough to extend the game past the fifth. Laura Beckert ’03, Leah Kelley ’03, Jesseka Bartholomew ’03 and Chelsea Kanyer ’06 each had a hit in the losing effort.

Despite the dreadful opener, Yale righted the ship quickly at the outset of game two and jumped out to a 2-0 lead, thanks in part to a solo home run by Crispell, who also had two hits, a run and an RBI in the contest.

Peggy Hunt ’06, who had allowed just one run through the first five innings, allowed a solo home run to open the sixth and left with a runner on base, but Pavlicek prevented further damage by getting out of the inning, allowing only the inherited runner to score. Kwiatkowski then put the Bulldogs back ahead, but the lead did not last long.

Offensively for the Elis, Beckert, Kelley, Kanyer and Emily Lederer ’06 all chipped in base hits, and Kelley scored two runs.

With a crucial four-game swing through Cornell (24-6, 7-3) and Columbia (15-17, 5-5) beginning Saturday, the Elis have little time to lick their wounds. In the cluttered Ivy League picture, the Bulldogs can ill afford a hangover in New York.