Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the 3rd of the opening game, Wesleyan went ahead for good with a four-run, two-out rally. Dana Levy '12 (#10, photo insert right side), who would go on to be named NESCAC Player of the Week for her efforts over the three games, doubled to left - the first Wesleyan hitter to reach base in the game - and advanced to third on a single Alexis Kral '12, who stole second. Following a pair of pop-ups, Tori Redding '13 singled up the middle to bring home Levy and advance Kral to third. Redding stole second before Meaghan Dendy '10 (#7, main photo) hit a double to the left-field fence that landed just inside the line, scoring Kral and Redding. Dendy came around to score on a single through the right side by Talia Bernstein '11 (#9, photo insert upper left), spotting the Cardinals a 4-1 edge.
Hamilton cut the deficit to 4-2 in the top of the 5th but Wesleyan responded with five in the bottom half of the inning for a commanding 9-2 lead. With one out, Redding walked and advanced to second on a single by Dendy. Bernstein followed with a two-run double to right-center, the 23rd of her career, tying the program record set by Molly Gaebe '07. After a two-out single by Sam Epstein '12, Levy blasted a three-run home run to left to extend Wesleyan's lead to 9-2.
Dendy went the distance on the mound for Wesleyan, scattering six hits and walking five while striking out seven. She improved to 4-2 on the season with the win and picked up her 34th career win, extending her program record.
Wesleyan got two more complete-game wins from its other hurlers in the double-header Sat. as Caitlyn Grudzinski '13 got her sixth win of the year after losing her shutout bid in the 7th inning. Wesleyan led 2-0 into the last frame before Hamilton pushed across three runs, all with two outs, for a 3-2 edge. Wesleyan then took advantage of a Hamilton error to give Bernstein a chance to drive in the tying run in the 7th with her third hit of the game. The Cardinals began the 8th with a single by Levy, a hit batter and a fielder's choice that kept Levy at third base temporarily. Up came Taylor Zavadsky '10 with the bases loaded, and she deposited a game-winning single into left.
In the nightcap Sat., the Cardinals rolled to an 8-1 lead after two innings. An RBI double by Redding, and RBI singles by Levy, Kral and Allee Beatty '13 highlighted a six-run 1st stanza. Wesleyan tacked on two more in the bottom of the 2nd on Bernstein's school-record 25th career double, good for an RBI, and another RBI from Levy.
Levy yielded eight hits and only two earned runs with eight strikeouts and one walk as she went all the way on the mound to up her seasonal record to 3-1.
The squad moved out of conference with a trip to Western Connecticut for a double-header Tues., April 6. Dendy was the story of game one, throwing a four-hitter for her fourth career shutout and second this year. Levy scored the winning run in the 1-0 decision, leading off the 7th with a single. Epstein followed with a single and aided by a WCSU error, Zavadsky had a chance to drive in Levy with a fielder's choice groundout. Levy and Chrissy Bello '12 both had a pair of hits for the Cardinals.
Western captured the nightcap, winning 6-5 in eight innings. The Colonials scored the winning run on a sacrifice fly after Wesleyan failed to score in the top of the 8th despite starting with a runner at 2nd base due to the international tie-breaker rule. Bello again had a pair of hits as did Epstein, who also scored two of the Cardinals' five runs.
Next up is a key NESCAC West weekend at Williams Sat.-Sun., April 10-11.
(photos courtesy of Ron Bernstein P'11)