In the first meeting of the year between the two NESCAC West teams that have represented the division in the NESCAC playoffs each of the last four seasons, Williams got the upper hand Fri., April 15, by grabbing an 11-4 road victory over Wesleyan. The Cardinals and Ephs will conclude their season series in the double-header Sat., April 16.
Despite being the two divisional front-runners since 2007, Wesleyan, the defending NESCAC champion, and Williams, the defending NESCAC West winner, find themselves fighting an uphill battle against current league leaders Middlebury and Amherst. Middlebury and Amherst both captured the season series vs. Wesleyan, 2-1, while Middlebury swept Williams in their series. Thus, league wins are extremely important for both the Cardinals and Ephs from this point on. Williams dropped Wesleyan's conference mark to 2-5 while upping its own record to 1-3.
Wesleyan manufactured a 1st-inning run as Allee Beatty '13 walked, stole a base, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on Chrissy Bello's '12 sacrifice fly to right. Williams scored the next five runs to take a 5-1 lead into the bottom of the 5th. Amy Lindland '14 (#1, photo) bunted for a base hit and when the late throw to first eluded all Eph defenders and rolled into the right-field corner, Lindland circled the bases to narrow the margin to 5-2. Williams responed with a solo home run oin the 6th and wrapped up the triumph in the 7th with five more runs, four of them coming on a grand-slam homer.
Wesleyan picked up a pair of runs in the 7th as Matti Peters '13, who missed a home run by inches as her deep shot to center hit the top of the fence but stayed in the park, and Alexis Kral '12, who sent a scorcher down the left-field line, hit back-to-back doubles. Kral then scored on another bunt base hit by Lindland.
Pitcher Laura Getchell '14, who had shut out both Middlebury and Amherst in her last two starts, has considerably less success against the Ephs as she was touched for 11 hits and nine runs in 6.1 innings of work.