Talia Bernstein '11, Named NESCAC POW, Breaks Career Hits Record with a Vengeance as Softball Ends Season with 3-game Sweep of Hamilton

Wesleyan rolled up 24 runs on 27 hits during a NESCAC West double-header at Hamilton Sat, April 30, to sweep the two games by scores of 10-0 and 14-6.  Both games ended in the 6th inning via the eight-run mercy rule.  Wesleyan concluded the 2011 campaign with a single game at Hamilton Sun., May 1, and pulled out a 10-9 victory to finished the year 6-6 in NESCAC West play and 12-19 overall.

After Talia Bernstein '11 (#20, main photo by Ron Bernstein P'11) picked up three hits in the twin-bill to raise her career total to 188, tying her with Meaghan Dendy '10 for the Wesleyan career leadership, she closed out her career as Wesleyan's lone senior in tremendous fashion.  Bernstein went 4-for-5 in the season finale, hitting a pair of home runs including a two-run shot to start a four-run rally in the 4th inning that gave the Cardinals the lead for good.  For her 8-for-16 effort during the week, Bernstein was named NESCAC Player of the Week for the second time this season.  Wesleyan trailed 5-4 heading into the 4th but Bernstein put the visitors ahead, 6-5, with her blast to left field with Dana Levy '12 (#10, photo insert lower left) aboard after a single.  A sacrifice fly by Tori Redding '13 and an RBI hit by Alex Sarkowsky '14, who went 4-for-4 in the game, made it a three-run cushion.  The Cardinals got a solo homer from Bernstein, the 10th of her career, in the 5th inning and Chrissy Bello '12 drove in the final run of the season in the 6th with her second hit of the game.  She ended the contest with four RBI, as did Bernstein, as she smacked a three-run double in the 2nd to spot the Cardinals an early 4-0 lead. Bello concluded the year with 40 RBI, a single-season school record.  Allee Beatty '14 picked up a pair of hits to end the campaign on a 15-game hitting streak.  Bernstein had a hit in the final 11 contests she played.  Starting all 148 games over her four years, Bernstein had a hit in 117 of those 148 affairs (79 percent) and had five hitting streaks of 10 games or more.  Her career featured Wesleyan all-time records for hits (192), RBI (114) and doubles (34) while also establishing the single-season record for hits (55 in 2009) and doubles in a game (four vs. Babson in 2010).  A tremendous contact hitter, Bernstein posted a career .391 average (.437 in 2011) and struck out just 13 times in 536 plate appearances over four seasons.

Bernstein was one of seven Cardinals to pick up at least three hits during the twin killing at Hamilton on Saturday, as Matti Peters '13, Redding, Alexis Kral '12 and Levy all had four safeties while Bernstein, Bello and Amy Lindland '14 all had three in the balanced Cardinal attack.  Levy, who tossed a sparking four-hit shutout in the opener, smacked her sixth homer of the year to tie the Wesleyan record for round-trippers in a season and become he career leader (11) with still a season to go.  That four-bagger came in the 3rd inning of the second game to cut Hamilton's lead at the time to 2-1.  When Wesleyan rallied for six runs in the top of the 4th, the Cardinals had the lead for good.  Redding and Bello both came through with two-run doubles in the frame.  Those two RBI gave Bello 36 on the year, surpassing the seasonal mark of 35 set last year by Dendy.

A run-scoring triple by Beatty in the top of the 6th allowed her to extend her hitting streak to 14 games before upping it to 15 in the final game.

In the first game of the double-header, Wesleyan held a tenuous 2-0 lead heading into the 6th frame but sent 12 to the plate while scoring eight runs on eight hits to blow the game open. Three of the hits were doubles with Lindland and Sam Epstein '12 both plating a pair with their two-baggers.