Dana Levy '12 (#10, photo left side) tossed a sparking three-hit shutout and smacked a two-run homer in the 1st inning to record the game-winning hit as Wesleyan won the first game of a double-header against its NESCAC West and Little Three rival Williams, 8-0, in five innings Sat., April 16. Williams stormed back to capture the nightcap, 14-5, and take the season series, two games to one after winning the opener yesterday. Wesleyan and Williams have been the representatives from the West Division in the NESCAC tournament each year since the league expanded to a three-game series format among the conference members in 2007. Wesleyan has an uphill battle to get a chance to defend its 2010 conference crown while Williams will need help from Middlebury, which has already clinched a playoff spot with an 8-1 league record, if it hopes to return to the post-season.
Wesleyan scored all eight of its runs in the first two innings of the initial game, scoring five times in the 1st and adding three more in the 2nd. After Levy launched a towering drive to right to make it 2-0, her team-leading fourth home run of the season, Sam Epstein '12, Tori Redding '13 and Allee Beatty '13 added RBI singles to up the margin. In the second frame, Matti Peters '13 knocked in a run with a base hit and Redding found the gap in right center for a two-run double.
Williams had its biggest threat on the 1st inning on back-to-back singles with one out, but Levy got out of the jam with a pair of groundouts. Williams managed just one more hit over the final four innings while Wesleyan finished the game with 13 safeties, led by Redding, who picked up three.
Williams reversed fortunes in the second game, outhitting Wesleyan, 16-11. Williams raced out to a 5-0 lead after two innings. Wesleyan came back with four runs in the bottom of the 3rd to cut the gap to 5-4, with a two-run line single by Alexis Kral '12 (#23, photo right side) the big blow, Williams responded with four of its own in the top of 4th, ballooning the margin up to 9-4. Three Eph hits and two Wesleyan miscues contributed to the runs, three of which were unearned.
Williams added a solo home run in the 5th and four more in the 7th while Wesleyan's fifth and final run came in the 5th, courtesy of a Kral sacrifice fly. Kral finished the double-header with four hits in six at-bats, two runs and three RBI. For the series vs. Williams, she hit a resounding .667 (6-for-9).
Wesleyan moved out of conference for its next action, hosting Western Connecticut Thurs., April 21, in a rescheduled double-header from earlier in the season. Unfortunately for the teams, they were unable to finish the second game of the twin-bill due to darkness. Western was leading after four innings of play, 8-7. The Colonials used a seven-run 5th inning in the first game to break open the game en route to a 21-11 conquest.
Redding got Wesleyan off to a good start in the bottom of the 1st, capping a four-run frame with a bases-loaded triple. Though Western responded with a five-run burst in the top of the 2nd, Wesleyan regained the lead in the bottom of the inning behind a two-run homer to left by Levy, her fifth round-tripper of the year. But the 6-5 lead was the last for the Cardinals as Western went on to collect 18 hits, five of them four-baggers with a stiff wind blowing to left. Wes;eyan closed out the contest with 14 hits, three each from Levy and Beatty. Levy had four RBI. Beatty scored three runs.
The Cardinals were right back on the field Fri., April 22, hosting Trinity in a cross-over NESCAC double-header. Trinity made short work of the opener, holding Wesleyan to four hits while pulling away for a 10-0 decision in five innings. Behind the pitching of Levy, Wesleyan forged a 4-1 lead in the nightcap after five innings. But the Bantams rallied to tie the game with a single run in the 6th and a pair in the 7th. A two-run Bantam homer in the 8th decided the outcome, 6-4. Epstein had given Wesleyan a 3-0 margin in the 1st inning with a three-run shot over the center-field fence, her second of the year. Beatty had a hit in both contests, extending her hitting streak to 11 games.
Wesleyan has a single game at home Wed., April 27, against Coast Guard, the fourth-ranked squad among NCAA Division III squads.