Getting stellar pitching from Laura Getchell '14 (photo upper left) and Su Pardo '16 (photo lower right) along with the collective 12-for-16 hitting of Allee Beatty '13 (photo upper right) and Ashley McLaren '13 (photo lower left), Wesleyan cruised past Framingham St., 6-0, and Benedictine (IL), 9-1 in five innings Wed., March 20, then ended its trip to Florida by besting Calvin, 4-0, and Southern Maine, 8-1, on Thurs., March 21 with the same principles contributing substantially. As a result, Wesleyan ended its finest warm-weather excursion in history with an 11-3 record while riding a nine-game win streak. The best previous start for the team was 8-6 after 14 games in 2010. The nine-game win streak is second-best in program history as the 2007 squad fashioned a 12-game streak and around it, had a 14-game stretch of 13-1, a team standard. The team gets back to game mode Fri., March 29 with the first of a three-game NESCAC West series at Hamilton.
Getchell began the final four-game run with a two-hit shutout as she struck out nine and walked two as only two Rams runners managed to reach second base against her masterful hurling. At the plate for Wesleyan, both Beatty and McLaren went 3-for-4 and combined to score three runs. Jill Gately '15 added a pair of hits while Tori Redding '13 had two RBI, those coming during a three-run 1st inning with a double. Alex Sarkowsky '14 followed with an RBI double to cap off the frame. An RBI double by Gately and RBI single from Matti Peters '13 made it a 5-0 score in the 5th and Wesleyan added an unearned run in the 6th.
Beatty, the initial NESCAC and ECAC New England Player of the Week who earned NESCAC honors for a second straight week, ran her hitting streak to 12 games as both she and McLaren again went 3-for-4 during the win over Benedictine. With two steals on the day, Beatty raised her Wesleyan career-record figure to 101 as she is 12-for-13 on the season. McLaren smashed a grand slam in the 4th to pad a 5-0 lead. She had already driven in two runs with a single in the 1st and a triple in the 2nd as she nearly hit for the cycle. Gately had an RBI double in the 2nd as she enjoyed a 4-for-7 day. On the mound, Pardo yielded just four hits as a pair of Benedictine doubles in the 4th spoiled her shutout bid. She recorded nine of the 15 putouts in the game with strikeouts.
The final day of action in Florida featured two more outstanding pitching performances as Pardo tossed a four-hit shutout against Calvin, striking out 10 and walking none. Wesleyan had just four hits of its own as Beatty and McLaren combined for three runs, three hits and three RBI in the game. Sarkowsky had the other hit and RBI. Pinch-runner Mollie Grunat '16 scored the remaining run. McLaren brought in Beatty in the first with the winning run. McLaren and Sarkowsky both had RBI singles in the 3rd. A throwing error and passed ball in the 4th allowed Beatty's groundout to bring home Grunat with the fourth run. Two Cardinal throwing errors and a Calvin single put runners at second and third in the 4th with two outs, but a timely strikeout by Pardo ended the threat.
Wesleyan jumped out to an early 4-0 lead on Southern Maine, parlaying two hits with a hit batter, a walk, a passed ball and a two-run error. A bases-loaded bunt single by Amy Lindland '14 was the only RBI of the stanza. Sarkowsky got a key two-run single with two outs in the 2nd to pad the margin to 6-0. When starting pitcher Caitlyn Grudzinski '13 ran into a little trouble in the 3rd, Getchell took over in the circle to get a strikeout with two runners on after the Huskies got their only run of the game. Getchell tossed the final four innings, yielding just two hits and no runs with nine Ks. McLaren, with a squeeze bunt, and Sarkowsky, with an RBI single, drove in the final Cardinal runs in the 4th. Sarkowsky had two of Wesleyan's five hits in the game and three of five RBI. The capitalizing Cardinals actually were outhit in the game, 7-5, despite winning by seven runs.
Beatty hit safely in all 14 games in Florida and leads the team with a .560 batting average. She is among the national leaders for batting average, runs scored (with 28 in 14 games) and stolen bases (15-for-16). McLaren, with a .519 average and 19 RBI in 11 games, also ranks with the nation's best in those departments. Two other Cardinals regulars hit over .400 for the trip - Lindland (.415) and Gately (.413) - as the team is hitting .332. Getchell went 4-2 as the most worked pitcher, tossing 33.1 innings with a 2.31 ERA and 37 strikeouts. Pardo, with a 4-0 record, hurled 31.1 innings with a 3.13 ERA and 44 strikeouts.
(photos courtesy of David Getchell P'14)