Cardinals Have Five Returning Starters, Bulk of Pitching Back to Look for Improvement in 2013

After four straight trips to the NESCAC tournament between 2007 and 2010, culminating with a NESCAC title and NCAA Tournament bid in 2010, the Cardinals slipped back a bit the last two seasons but are hoping to get back into the thick of the NESCAC playoff chase behind a hard-working, veteran group that includes five starters and the top three pitchers from a year ago.

Team co-captains Allee Beatty '13 (#22, photo insert lower right) and Tori Redding '13 (#24, main photo) are both four-year starters and solid hitters.  Beatty led the team with a .381 average last year and stole 33 bases.  She is the Cardinals' all-time base-stealing leader with 89 over her three seasons.  Beatty is a three-time all-NESCAC second-team choice and also earned second-team all-New England honors from the NFCA in 2012 and third-team recognition in 2011.  She has 129 hits to stand sixth all-time at Wesleyan.  Redding has 107 career safeties, having hit .307 in 2012, to hold the 14th spot on the career hits list at Wesleyan.  Beatty has been prowling center field most of her career though she handled catching chores in 2011.  Redding has been a staple figure in the outfield.

Ashley McLaren '13 returns as the team's catcher after sporting a .232 average a year ago with 10 of her 22 hits going for extra bases.  Also back with lots of experience is Jill Gately '15, who played mainly in right field a year ago but also handled some shortstop duty.  She hit .272 while starting 31 games in 2012.  Amy Lindland '14 saw a good deal of action in right field last season but could be used at second base in 2013.

Also back after playing in a majority of the Cardinals' games last year are Gigi Olson '15 and Lexi Parr '15.  Alex Sarkowsky '14, Matti Peters '13 and Julia Reed '15 add to the depth at the fielding positions.

Wesleyan's three returning pitchers include Haylle Reidy '15, who also hit .192, Laura Getchell '14 and Caitlin Grudzinski '13.  Reidy threw 63 innings in 2012 with a 4.97 ERA while Getchell tossed 87 innings with a 6.17 ERA.  She led the team in strikeouts with 94.  Grudzinski had 31 innings pitched with a 7.00 ERA. 

Three newcomers, two of whom pitch, will strengthen the Cardinals as Susan Pardo '16 and Amanda Roosa '16 should factor into the mound rotation right away while both can pay the infied as well.  Mollie Grunat '16 can play a number of positions and is a switch hitter.

As has been the case for the last four seasons, Wesleyan will begin its campaign with a trip to Clermont, Fla. for a 14-game, 10-day excursion.  The first games on Wed., March 13 feature Salve Regina and St. Lawrence.  Salve is a new opponent for Wesleyan while St. Lawrence was played just once before, that in 2003.  The northern schedule gets underway Fri., March 29 at Hamilton for the start of a three-game NESCAC West series in Clinton, N.Y.