Ashley Sloan, Christy Nelson Get Hits In Both Games
DELAND, Fla. - The Yale softball team faced the unenviable task of opening the season against a pair of teams that combined have already played more than 40 games. The Bulldogs acquitted themselves quite well. In the opener, they dropped a hard-fought 2-1 decision to Bethune Cookman and then fell 5-1 to Stetson. The two games were part of the Stetson Classic.
In the first game, Holly Gutterud, making her first appearance in the circle since 2008, pitched well. She scattered eight hits and struck out four in six innings. One of her few mistakes proved costly. She yielded a wind-aided two-run homer to Cesley Tafoya in the first inning.
Yale got the season off to a strong start in the top of the first. Ashley Sloan led off with a single to left and advanced to second on Jennifer Ong’s sacrifice bunt. Lauren Huddleston followed with a sharp single to center that scored Sloan. Freshman Christy Nelson then singled in her first career at bat, but Bethune-Cookman pitcher Chastity Sanders avoided further damage by retiring the next two hitters.
Gutterud, who took last season off to study abroad, worked out of big trouble in the third. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with no out. Michelle Banuelos-Smith then lined a shot back to Gutterud, who snared it and doubled off Cesley Tafoya at third. Gutterud then struck out Joanna Hernandez to end the threat.
The Bulldogs got the tying run on base in the seventh inning when Allie Canulli singled, but she was left stranded.
Bethune-Cookman improved to 11-13 with the victory.
Against Stetson, Sloan and Nelson had hits for the Bulldogs.
The Hatters (13-9) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second on back-to-back RBI singles by Jordan Cleghorn and Katelyn Penna. A terrific running catch by Sloan in centerfield with the bases loaded prevented further damage.
Yale (0-2) got a run back in the third. Sloan reached on an infield single, stole second and scored when Meg Johnson reached on an error.
Katie Lawrence then homered leading off the bottom of the third for Stetson, and the Hatters added single runs in the fifth and sixth.
Kayla Kuretich pitched the first four innings for the Bulldogs and struck out three. She was relieved by freshman Jackie Manzer, who made her collegiate debut. Manzer struck out four in her two innings of work.
The Bulldogs will play a pair of games on Sunday at the Stetson Classic. Yale plays UConn at 10 a.m. and Stetson at 3 p.m. Yale and Stetson will now also meet on Monday at 5 p.m.
Image of pitcher Holly Gutterud by Ken Yanagisawa
Recap filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity