Tori Redding '13 (#14, main photo by Ron Bernstein P'11) produced timely hits in the opening two games of Wesleyan's 14-game excursion in Florida, helping the Cardinals to a 2-0 mark. Redding had a walk-off RBI double in the team's 6-5 victory over Monmouth (IL) to cap the day after she stroked a two-run double and then scored herself to highlight a five-run outburst in the 6th inning of Wesleyan's 5-1 triumph over Fitchburg St. to inaugurate the campaign. Her hit put the Cards ahead for good, 2-1. On the day, Redding went 3-for-7 with a pair of doubles and three RBI.
Wesleyan got an outstanding pitching effort from Caitlyn Grudzinski '13 (#5, photo insert lower left) as she went seven innings vs. Fitchburg, allowing seven hits and one unearned run while striking out six and issuing no walks. Also coming through with a big hit against Fitchburg was Sam Epstein '12, whose two-run single padded the lead to a comfortable 5-1 heading into the last frame. Wesleyan had five of its seven hits in the outing during the 6th inning.
Against Monmouth, Wesleyan carried a 5-2 lead into the 7th inning, thanks to a pair of costly errors by Monmouth in the 4th that allowed four Cardinals to score after Jill Gately '15 had stroked an RBI triple in the 2nd inning to bring home Chrissy Bello '12, who had walked, with Wesleyan's first run. Wesleyan ran into some trouble in the top of the 7th as Monmouth tied the score with three runs, two of them unearned off winner Laura Getchell '14, who gave up nine hits and two earned runs with seven strikeouts. In the bottom of the frame, Wesleyan wasted little time wrapping up the win as Allee Beatty '13 led off with an infield hit, and went to second on a throwing error. Up came Redding, who pounded a game-winning two-bagger to center to end the contest. Beatty had a 3-for-7 day, like Redding, while Alexis Kral '12 went 3-for-6.
Wesleyan had another pair of games slated for Thurs., March 15, taking on Rutgers-Newark and Plattsburg St. The first game came down to the wire with Rutgers holding on for a 4-3 victory. In the second game, Wesleyan forged an early 5-1 lead as Gately blasted a three-run homer in the 2nd inning and Bello launched an RBI double during a two-run 3rd inning, but SUNY Plattsburgh scored 13 runs over the final four innings to run away with a 14-7 win. Both Cardinal teams (Plattsburgh is also the Cardinals) had nine hits in the game. Beatty had three for Wesleyan while Gately and Epstein had two apiece, including a home run by the latter as well as the former. Against Rutgers, eight different Cardinals had one hit while pitcher Haylle Reidy gave up just three hits and two earned runs in six innings of work with nine strikeouts. Still, Rutgers got two of its three safeties in the bottom of the 5th to erase a 3-2 Wesleyan lead and go ahead, 4-3. Wesleyan got two runners on in the 6th and one on in the 7th but couldn't get the hit it needed to tie or win the contest.
On Fri., March 16, Wesleyan takes on FDU-Florham and Babson as the Florida two-a-days continues.