The Yale softball team responded to a 1–3 series against Harvard with an impressive 3–2 victory over Sacred Heart Wednesday night but dropped the second game of the doubleheader 7–3.
After splitting the day, the Bulldogs (12–21, 3–3 Ivy) will refocus on conference competition as they prepare for a four-game series against Dartmouth over the weekend. The Elis now sit at third place in the North Division and sixth overall in the conference as they head into the final stretch of games.
“Today’s games were a great way for us to work out some kinks and try to push ourselves to the limit in preparation for our games against Dartmouth this weekend,” pitcher Francesca Casalino ’18 said.
Yale and Sacred Heart both struggled on the offensive end, tallying only six and seven hits, respectively. The Elis did not get their first hit until the third inning and the first run did not come until the fifth. Right fielder Olivia Vinyard ’20 and Casalino combined for four of the team’s hits and both notched an RBI. Second baseman Laina Do ’20, who bats 0.286 and led the Elis last season in multi-hit games, struggled in the first game as she flew out to the outfield three times but still managed to earn an RBI.
Yale’s pitching duo of Lindsay Efflandt ’17 and Mary Baumann ’20 remained strong for the Elis throughout the game. Both aces pitched four innings and Baumann picked up her second win of the season. Sacred Heart’s Jamie Carlson pitched an equally stellar game, giving up just two earned runs in seven innings in the circle, but the Bulldogs’ bats were too hot down the stretch. In the bottom of the eighth inning, with the game knotted at 2–2, second baseman Annie Tarte ’20 started the rally by singling to left center field. After advancing to second base on a sacrifice bunt, Tarte scored the game-winning run on a Vinyard blast to right field.
“Olivia’s hit was huge for us, especially coming off the extra innings loss to Harvard on Sunday,” Casalino said. “It gave us more confidence in ourselves that we can finish a game.”
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Bulldogs simply could not stop Sacred Heart’s offensive firepower. The Pioneers had nine hits and five RBIs and struck early and often in the game. Sacred Heart had one run in the first inning, two in the second and, in keeping to the pattern, four runs in the fourth inning. First baseman and captain Camille Weisenbach ’17 had two of Yale’s five hits and batted in one run. Pitcher Terra Jerpbak ’19 struggled in the second game and surrendered four earned runs in her fourth loss of the season.
Next up for the improving Yale squad is a Dartmouth team (10–21–1, 9–3) that leads the North Division. The Big Green is the hottest team in the conference right now, riding an eight-game winning streak.
While Dartmouth is undoubtedly on a huge winning streak and has an 8–0 home record, the team is a less than stellar 2–9 outside of Hanover. The Bulldogs will definitely press their home field advantage as they attempt to pull off a dramatic upset against one of the Ivy League’s best rosters.
Dartmouth leads the conference in triples with eight total and third in home runs with 19. Pitcher Breanna Ethridge will pose a problem for the Bulldogs in the series, as she leads the conference in innings pitched with 129.1 and batters struck out, in addition to boasting a 0.242 opponent batting average — good for second in the Ancient Eight. On the offensive side, Alyssa Jorgensen is sixth in the conference with an impressive 0.338 batting average.
“Dartmouth is always a strong team, so this weekend will be especially fun because we play our best against our toughest opponents,” Weisenbach said. “We have prepared all year for this half of the Ivy League season, so we are excited and ready for the weekend.”
The four games will be played on April 22 and 23 at Dewitt Family Field, with the opening game beginning at 12:30 p.m.