As the season draws to a close, the softball team suffered two close losses to Army on Wednesday.
The Bulldogs will play their last games of the season this weekend against Brown in the hopes of ending the year on a high note. The Bulldogs outhit Army, committed fewer errors and showed strength on defense, but this was not enough to finish with a win.
“We have been keeping out heads up and are really excited to play Brown this weekend,” captain Christy Nelson ’13 said. “Today we had some tough losses, but we all played really well.”
For the majority of the first game, the Bulldogs (10–32, 3–13 Ivy) held a commanding lead over Army. After Army scored one run in the top of the first, Yale responded with three of its own. Jennifer Ong ’13 began the inning with a single, and Nelson walked, filling the bases for Sarah Onorato ’15, who hit a three-run homer, her first home run at Yale.
“The home run felt good,” Onorato said. “It was nice to get a good piece, since I’ve been struggling lately at the plate.”
Four hits in the bottom of the fifth added another run to the Elis’ score and gave them a 4–1 lead. But the Black Knights seized control at the top of the sixth and scored four runs, three of which came with two outs. Yale answered with two runs in the bottom of the sixth, including one from a double by Hannah Brennan ’15. Army took an 8–6 lead with three more runs in the top of the seventh, and while the Bulldogs secured runners on second and third, a double play ended the inning, and the Elis lost the game.
Over the course of the game, the Bulldogs had 14 hits, the largest number the team has attained in a game the entire season.
“We were ready to go,” Brennan said. “We knew we were going to have a challenge with Army, but we were ready and had very positive attitudes.”
In the second game, the Bulldogs struggled offensively. Although runners made it to base — Yale actually outhit Army in both games — the Elis could not bring them home. Yale lined the bases in the bottom of the seventh and scored one run, but they lost the game 2–1.
Over the past three matchups, the Bulldogs have been especially good at hitting home runs. Five of the team’s six season home runs have been in the last week.
“We don’t plan on hitting home runs; we focus more on base hits,” Nelson. “But it is great for team momentum when we get one.”
According to Nelson, the team had some of the best defensive plays of the season on Wednesday. Strong moments in the field included a few diving stops from Meg Johnson ’12 at shortstop and some great catches by center fielder Riley Hughes ’15. Additionally, the Elis committed fewer errors than Army, two to West Point’s four.
The Bulldogs will end their season with four games against Brown (8–25, 5–11 Ivy), the first two in Providence on Friday and the last doubleheader back in New Haven on Saturday. Currently, Yale is in last place within the Ivy League. But if the Elis win at least three of the four games this weekend, they will tie or overpass Brown in the standings.
“We’re extremely ready to take all four from Brown,” Brennan said. “We really want to end the season on a good, solid note especially for our seniors. We just have to play solid defense, hit the ball as well as we did today and have our pitchers perform as well as they did today. If we do those three things again, we should come out on top.”
The first pitch is at 2:00 p.m. Friday at the Brown softball field.