Wesleyan used a balanced offense and strong pitching performance from Laura Getchell '14 (#7, main photo) to earn an 8-0, five-inning victory over Middlebury Sun., April 3. Wesleyan improved to 7-11 and 1-2 in NESCAC West play with the victory, while Middlebury stands 9-3 overall and 2-1 in NESCAC West action. Middlebury had swept a double-header at Wesleyan the day before.
Wesleyan took a 3-0 lead three batters into the game. Following a bunt single by Allee Beatty '13 and a four-pitch walk to Dana Levy '12 (#10, photo insert lower right), Chrissy Bello '12 (photo insert upper right) launched a towering drive to left that just made it over the fence for her second round-tripper of the year. The home run was the first allowed by the Middlebury pitching staff this season.
Wesleyan made it 4-0 in the 2nd on a two-out home run by Levy, her second of the year. Wesleyan added two more runs in the 3rd off the same pitcher who had held the Cardinals to one run on three hits in three innings of relief during Saturday's first game. A one-out double by Matti Peters '13 scored Talia Bernstein '11, who had led off with a single. Following a groundout, Tori Redding '13 blooped a single just inside the right-field line to score Peters.
Wesleyan's final two runs came on a trio of doubles in the 5th. Alexis Kral '12 drove a ball to the gap in right-center to lead off the inning and advanced to third on a groundout. Sam Epstein '12 ripped a ball down the left-field line to score Kral, and Redding followed with a double to the wall in right-center that plated pinch-runner Alex Sarkowsky '14 with the Cardinals' eighth run.
Getchell, making her fourth career start, cruised through five innings, allowing only two hits and one walk with four strikeouts to pick up her first career victory. She retired the side in order in the 2nd and 5th innings, marking the first time this season Middlebury has gone 1-2-3 in multiple innings in the same game.
Wesleyan has now gone 14 divisional series without being swept, as the Cardinals are one of only two NESCAC teams (along with Tufts) that has not been swept since NESCAC series expanded from two to three games in 2007. The last team to sweep Wesleyan in a NESCAC West series was Middlebury, which swept a twin bill on April 15, 2006, part of a 10-game winning streak by the Panthers against their divisional foe. That also marked the last series victory by Middlebury over Wesleyan prior to this weekend.
Wesleyan returns to action on Tues., April 5, hosting a pair against Western Connecticut State.