Matti Peters '13 (photo insert lower left) laced a two-run single into center field with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the 7th to drive in Talia Bernstein '11 (batting, main photo) with the tying run and Dana Levy '12 with the winning run as the Cardinals erased a 9-1 defiicit after four innings to claim a 10-9 victory over Simmons in Florida Thurs., March 10. It was the second time in the two days thus far down south that Wesleyan has recovered from an eight-run deficit to secure a win, having come back for a 12-10 triumph over Muhlenberg after trailing 10-2 through two innings March 9. Only twice in program history (down 12-0 to Bates in 2010 and down 9-0 to Middlebury in 1999) has Wesleyan overcome more than an eight-run shortfall to win.
Bernstein was the trigger in Wesleyan's six-run 5th inning vs. Simmons as she slammed a bases-loaded triple with one out to make it a 9-7 game. Earlier in the frame, Chrissy Bello '12 and Tori Redding '13 had delivered RBI singles while Allee Beatty '13 had walked with the bases loaded, accounting for the six runs. A sacrifice fly by Redding in the 6th cut the margin to 9-8.
Pitcher Caitlyn Grudzinski '13 entered the game in relief in the 4th inning after Simmons had plated seven runs, four of them unearned due to a Cardinal throwing error with two outs. She got the final out, then tossed three shutout innings to extend her current streak of shutout innings to 8.2 in picking up the victory.
Beatty, Bello and Alexis Kral '12 all had two hits for the Cardinals vs. Simmons. Wesleyan's second game slated for March 10 vs. Thiel was rained out and will not be rescheduled.
The next games on the Cardinals' schedule turned out to be agains RPI and Plattsburgh St. Sat., March 12. Wesleyan suffered its first setback of the season when RPI captured a 15-7 decision in five innings. Peters and Kral both drove in a pair of runs and Bernstein smacked a pair of hits and scored twice. Plattsburgh came up with a 9-4 victory over the Cardinals, pulling away in the final frame as the squads entered the 7th inning in a 4-4 deadlock. Plattsburgh pushed across five runs in the top of the 7th with a two-run homer and a costly Wesleyan error leading to three additkonal unearned runs. Amy Lindland '14 was the only Wesleyan player to connect for two hits.
The Cardinals continued their busy southern schedule Sun., March 13, taking on SUNY Geneseo and UMass Boston. Geneseo won by an 8-2 count, out-hitting Wesleyan just 12-9, and scoring four of its runs unearned. Redding had two hits and a run to pace the Wesleyan offense. Against UMass, the Cardinals fell, 4-3, as UMass led 4-0 after three innings. Sam Epstein '12 cracked a two-run triple in the 4th, as Wesleyan came up with three runs as Epstein also scored on an error in the frame. Wesleyan was unable to find the equalizer over the final three innings, with the best chance in the 5th after a one-out double by Redding.
The Cardinals face Westfield St. and Bethel in a pair of contests Mon., March 14.
(Photos courtesy of Ron Bernstein P'11)