Early-season trips down south have not ended well in recent years for the Yale softball team. Usually playing talented teams in their season openers, the Bulldogs have not won their first game of the season since 2012.
That streak continued this past weekend as Yale dropped its first four games of the year at the Houston Hilton Plaza Invitational.
The Elis fell 8–2 and 8–0 to Syracuse and Houston, respectively, on Friday. Entering what was Yale’s season opener, the Orange and the Cougars had already played a combined 17 games heading into the tournament. Yale kept both games close in the early going, but a five-run fifth inning by Syracuse and a six-run sixth inning by Houston put the two games away.
Francesca Casalino ’18 pitched the season opener while Terra Jerpbak ’19 took the mound against Houston. At the plate, Annie Tarte ’20 picked up where she left off in her solid rookie season. The sophomore was the lone Bulldog to record a hit in both games and her RBI double against Syracuse scored Sydney Ginsberg ’18. Yale’s other run against the Orange came when pinch runner Olivia Vinyard ’20 stole third and home.
On Saturday, both University of Texas at San Antonio and University of Nevada, Las Vegas shut out the Elis. Mary Baumann ’20 and Miranda Papes ’21 started at pitcher in the doubleheader, with the rookie Papes going 6.1 innings – the longest start of the weekend for a Yale pitcher – and giving up just three runs.
Of Yale’s seven hits across the two Saturday games, five of them came from first-year players. Sydney Grobman ’21 got on base three times while Kortney Ponce ’21 connected twice. Yale lost 5–0 to UTSA and 3–0 to UNLV.
The Bulldogs’ Sunday rematch with Syracuse was cancelled due to weather. Yale returns to action on Friday to face Kent State, Duke, Lehigh and North Dakota State in Durham, North Carolina.