On a gray New Haven day, the Yale women’s softball team fell 4–3 in extra innings to Fairfield University.
After Cornell (8–12, 3–3 Ivy) snapped the Elis’ three-game winning streak over the weekend, the Bulldogs (7–19, 4–5) hoped to rebound in a nonconference matchup with Fairfield (8–19, 0–2 Colonial). After seven innings, the score was tied at 2–2, but a Stags home run in the eighth broke the Elis’ resolve and sealed a 4–3 loss. Now the Bulldogs return to conference play with a three-game series against the University of Pennsylvania (8–15, 4–5 Ivy) this weekend.
“Going into Fairfield, we knew some of their players would be strong offensively, but nothing we couldn’t handle,” pitcher Terra Jerpbak ’19 said. “As a result, our pitchers tried to move the ball a lot and hit the corners of the plate in order to make the batters hit pitches that aren’t as good, resulting in weak hits. We also knew we would need to come out and hit the ball well throughout the game. As with any game, regardless of how our defense is, we need to hit well.”
Right-hander Mary Baumann ’20 made her seventh appearance and third start of the season in the midweek matchup. She allowed a leadoff single, and, while she stranded the runner, it boded poorly for the rest of the afternoon as she allowed three hits and walked two in just two innings of work. The Bulldogs responded well and started the game with two hits of their own, one from left fielder Shelby Kennedy ’19, who went 3–3 on the day, and another from second baseman Annie Tarte ’20. Kennedy stole her 17th base of the season and eventually made it to third base, but the Elis were unable to bring her home in the first inning.
The Stags made no mistake in the second inning. After Baumann allowed two batters to reach base, Makenna DiGuilio smacked an RBI double into right field that put Fairfield up 1–0. However, a great defensive effort kept the deficit at one, as a laser throw from right fielder Carlin Hagmaier ’19 nailed the Fairfield runner trying to score from third on a fly ball to complete a double play.
The Stags gained steam in the third as they added another run against reliever Jerpbak with an RBI single. Sydney Ginsberg ’18 tried to rally the Elis in the bottom of the third with a single, and Kennedy joined her on the bases after drawing a walk. However, after Lindsay Kuss ’20 popped out to the shortstop, DiGuilio made a stunning diving catch on Tarte’s deep foul ball down the left field line to end the third and stymie the Bulldogs’ attempts to build resistance
The Elis sprung to life in the fourth inning, recording three hits and, most importantly, two runs to tie the game. Designated player Francesca Casalino ’18 scored after an error from Fairfield, and, although Hagmaier flew out on the next play, Sydney Grobman ’21 was still able to tag up at third and reach home safely to tie the game up at 2–2.
The fifth inning drifted by with neither team offering anything of note, and this stale play continued through the sixth and seventh innings.
With the scores still tied after the seven regulation innings, the teams entered extra innings, in which each team starts with a player on second base. Spurred on by the extra softball, the Stags jumped ahead in the eighth inning. Angelina McGuire slammed a two-run home run off reliever Miranda Papes ’21, in her fifth inning of work, to hand Fairfield a 4–2 lead.
In the bottom of the frame, Tarte scored after a wild pitch to bring the game close at 4–3, but the Bulldogs failed to push across the tying run as captain and third baseman Allison Skinner ’18 grounded out to shortstop with the tying run at third.
Now, Yale will refocus on the Ivy League when it visits Penn this weekend with two games on Friday and one on Sunday.
“This weekend, we need to keep playing our game with confidence,” Yale catcher Francesca Casalino ’18 said. “I believe we can definitely win 2 of 3 games or even sweep Penn this weekend if every part of our game is working in unison. Not even just for this weekend, but strong pitching, solid defense, and consistent hitting will make us a team that is tough to beat for the rest of our Ivy games coming up.”
Caleb Rhodes | firstname.lastname@example.org