NESCAC-Champ Cards Have 4 on All-NESCAC Teams, COTY & Opening NCAA Win in NCAA Regional
After securing their first NESCAC tournament title with a 3-1 record at Williams in the NESCAC Championship May 7-9, the Cardinals placed three individuals on the all-NESCAC first-team, one on the second-team and head coach Jen Lane (head shot) was named NESCAC Coach of the Year for the second time in her nine seasons at the helm.
Following its 10-1 triumph over Bowdoin in the NESCAC title game, Wesleyan earned the NESCAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament and took on Kean University in a first-round game Fri., May 14 at Rhode Island College. Wesleyan, seeded fourth among the six squads at the Providence double-elimination regional, disposed of third -seeded Kean, 15-3 in five innings. Wesleyan then faced second-seeded Moravian College in a winner's-bracket game Sat., May 15 with Moravian prevailing, 6-0. That put the Cards in an elimination game vs. College of New Jersey and the top-seeded Lions planted an 8-0 loss on Wesleyan in five innings.
Meaghan Dendy '10 (#7, pitching) made the all-NESCAC first team for the fourth straight time, a remarkable feat. Hitting .354 this season, Dendy had a career-best and school-record 35 RBI this year while breaking the Wesleyan mark for doubles in a season with 12. She holds the Wesleyan career marks for hits (188), doubles (31), runs scored (134), RBI (78) and pitching victories (39). She has a career .371 batting average and started 152 of a possible 153 games. On the mound this year, Dendy finished 9-9 with a 3.69 ERA in 123.1 innings. For her career, she has tossed 428 innings while compiling a 39-28 record with 301 strikeouts.
Joining Dendy as first-time selections to the all-NESCAC first team are batting leader Chrissy Bello '12 (#4, batting) and Dana Levy '12 (#10, throwing and pitching). Levy, who transfered to Wesleyan this year from Kenyon College, has been a mainstay at the plate, in the field and on the mound. Hitting .321 with 12 extra-base hits, Levy set a school mark with three home runs in a 9-0 win at Trinity while also knocking in a school-record tying seven runs. Playing shortstop when not pitching, Levy is second on the squad in assists with 89. In the circle, Levy has posted a 7-4 record with a 1.67 ERA over 75.2 innings of work. Bello, starting in the outfield for a second year, hit a team-best .394 this year, raising her career average to .382. She had 10 extra-base hits this season and has started all 80 possible games over two seasons. In addition, she was named honorable-mention all-New England by the NEISCA.
Making the all-NESCAC second-team is outfielder Allee Beatty '13 (#22, running), who led the NESCAC in stolen bases with 35 to go along with a .326 batting average.
Head Coach Jen Lane, who was NESCAC co-Coach of the Year in 2008, has directed Wesleyan to four consecutive appearances in the NESCAC tournament, a runner-up finish in both 2008 and 2009 to go along with NESCAC West crowns, and a NESCAC title and NCAA bid in 2010. She is a 1998 graduate of Amherst College.
In their first NCAA tilt, the Cardinals got out of the block early as Dendy led off with a single and scored the first run on a bases-loaded walk to Talia Bernstein '11 (#9, batting). The Cardinals racked up five runs in the frame as Sam Epstein '12 was hit by a pitch with the bases full and Taylor Zavadsky '10 added an RBI bloop single to center, followed by a sacrifice fly from Alexis Kral '12.
The Cards added three in the 2nd and four in the 3rd to push the lead to 12-3. Levy, Epstein and Zavadsky all knocked in runs in the 2nd and Bernstein delivered the big blow in the 3rd with a three-run homer, her third of the season. In the 5th, an RBI groundout by Levy and a two-run error finished off the scoring.
While Dendy started the game on the mound, she ran into difficulty in the 2nd. Levy assumed pitching duties and tossed four shutout innings, allowing just three hits, in picking up the victory.
Wesleyan's bats were held in check in the next two games as both Moravian and TCNJ posted shutouts, the latter with a one-hitter. Wesleyan got five hits against Moravian with no one getting more than one safety. Kral broke up a no-hitter by TCNJ in the 7th inning of the final game.
Dendy and Zavadsky played their final games for the Cardinals as the team's lone seniors. While Dendy's career hit total ended at a Wesleyan-record 188, Zavadsky collected 110 hits in just three seasons, ranking her eighth all-time, and was named to the all-tournament team at the NCAA regional.
(individual photos courtesy of Ron Bernstein P'11)