In the third inning of Yale’s second game against Army in a moment that captured the energy of the doubleheader, Katie Edwards ’09 socked the ball over the left field fence and tied the school record for most career home runs.
In Wednesday’s clash against Army, Yale won both games handily, with pitchers Rebecca Wojciak ’09, Mariclaire Rebman ’11 and Kayla Kuretich ’10 leading the Bulldogs to 8-1 and 7-3 victories.
“Every time we play [Army] they come out ready to play,” captain Meghan Enyeart ’09 said. “We’ve been focusing on every little thing we can do to make things better – working on what we can control.”
TAKING DOWN THE BLACK KNIGHTS
The first game began three-up, three-down for the Bulldogs (3-5, 0-0 Ivy) against Army pitcher Jessi Muckelroy. The Black Knights (0-4) went down just as quickly.
The third inning brought in the bulk of the Elis’ run. The five-run rally started when Rebman drew a walk. Virginia Waldrop ’12 singled to left field, advancing Rebman to second. Ashley Sloan ’10 sacrificed to the third baseman, but advanced both runners to scoring position.
A single by Katie Yanagisawa ’11 brought in Rebman, and Waldrop stole home on a wild pitch. Lauren Huddleston ’10 singled with a hit to second, but tried to take the extra base on an error by the second baseman, but was tagged out by the shortstop. Yanagisawa scored in the confusion.
With the bases cleared, Edwards revitalized play with a double to right center. Enyeart followed with a single to left, and Johnson received the two RBI with a double on a solid hit to left center.
The fourth inning passed quickly. Rebman popped to second, Waldrop lined out to the short stop, Sloan reached first on an error and Yanagisawa grounded out to third. Army’s Reanna Johnson managed to get one hit to center field, but the inning ended as Deger struck out looking.
In the fifth, DeAntona replaced Muckelroy on the mound in the first of many pitching changes to come. Army tried to keep the Elis off balance with continual pitching changes. The Bulldogs, employing an opposite strategy, allowed Wojciak to play all seven innings.
“Their pitching was kind of slow. They tried to change it up a lot to keep us off balance,” Rebman said.
Army tried to rebound in the bottom of the inning, but were only able to come up with one run.
Yale’s Sloan was sent home again in the sixth by Huddleston who singled to left field. Edward’s single advanced Huddleston to second and Enyeart’s strong double to center earned the RBI. The inning ended with a fly out to center by Meg Johnson ’12. Army went three-up, three-down on easily fielded outs.
The last inning began with a final pitching change by Army. Nicole Talarczyk reentered the game, and quickly took the Elis down on easy outs to right field, first and third.
Army managed one more hit, and Wojciak added two strikeouts to her game total of eight for the first two outs of the inning. The last out of the game was a fielder’s choice by second-baseman Yanigisawa to shortstop Johnson.
BRINGING IT HOME
The second game began with a scoreless inning from Yale. Army got off to a quicker start with an unearned run on the boards. The second inning passed scoreless for both teams.
“We pitched to keep them off balance and not let them hit the ball solidly,” Rebman explained. “I tried to make our fielders work.”
In the third, Yale scored three runs off a home run by Edwards. The rally began with Yanagisawa’s single to center and Huddleston’s base on balls. Edwards then homered to left field – earning her the three RBIs and the tie for most career homers. Enyeart then singled to center and Johnson singled to left before Westman hit into a double play, thus ending the inning.
“There was really no pressure,” Edwards said. “Every pass is the same. Right before the bat, Kayla came up to me and told me, ‘Just get on base.’ ”
In the fourth, Yale added two runs to their total, and in the next inning, the teams earned two runs apiece. The Black Knights had four hits in the inning, and scored without the aid of Eli errors. The sixth remained scoreless for the Elis and the Knights.
The seventh went quickly three-up, three-down for both teams and the game ended 7-3.
Edwards said she always knew she could match the Yale home run record. After hitting seven in her freshman year alone, she saw 17 as a reachable number.
“It was doable. The worst season yet, I’ve hit two,” she explained. “The only questionable thing is that I had shoulder surgery. I’ve been working hard to build back strength. I can move around again and lead a pain-free life.”
The situation Wednesday night was perfect for the tying run, according to Enyeart.
“She had two runners on — the perfect situation,” Enyeart added. “She had a bomb.”
This weekend, the Elis will face off in their first Ivy play with a doubleheader at Princeton on Saturday beginning at 12:30 p.m. On Sunday, the team will travel to Ithaca, N.Y., for a 12:00 p.m. doubleheader against Cornell.