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Trip To Columbia & Penn Starts Ivy League Play

Liz Tutino (Ken Yanagisawa photo)
Liz Tutino (Ken Yanagisawa photo)

Bulldogs Hope To Get Off To Fast Start Against South Division Rivals

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The 2010 Yale softball season has already had its share of eventful moments. It began a day later than expected because of torrential rain in normally sunny Florida. Kayla Kuretich had her bid for a no-hitter ended by ground ball single in the seventh inning against Marist, and most recently, Yale saw a 9-3 lead go for naught when the game had to be stopped after four innings because of darkness. All of that, though, gets forgotten now as Yale prepares for its Ivy League openers this weekend. The Bulldogs play doubleheaders at Columbia on Friday and at Penn on Saturday. The action on both days begins at 2 p.m.

Yale (4-11) struggled offensively early in the year but has been better of late. The Bulldogs banged out 16 hits in only four innings on Wednesday against Fairfield. Meg Johnson and Christy Nelson both homered before the game was called. Yale has scored at least three runs in five of its last seven games, not including the second Fairfield game. Ashley Sloan leads the way with a .294 average. Nelson (.282), Johnson (.279) and Lauren Huddleston (.278) have also been hitting well. Huddleston is batting .462 in her last four games.

Kuretich has anchored a pitching staff that has been very consistent. She leads the team in earned run average (2.15), innings (42.1) and strike outs (44). Holly Gutterud (2.90 ERA) and freshman Jackie Manzer (3.00 ERA) have been strong as well.

Columbia (5-14) hasn’t played since an 8-5 loss to Manhattan last Saturday. Alison Lam, who was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week on Tuesday, leads the team with a .344 average. Dani Pineda has three of Columbia’s four home runs. Maureen O’Kane (4.41 ERA) and Maggie Johnson (5.25 ERA) have seen a majority of the action in the circle.

Penn features a potent offense. The Quakers have scored at least six runs in a game five times this season. Brooke Coloma (.400), Keiko Uraguchi (.365) and Jessica Arneson (..324) lead the way. Chelsea Ott (2.24 ERA) anchors the pitching staff.

Yale swept a doubleheader from Columbia last year at Dewitt Family Field but got swept by Penn the next day.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity