Softball Hands Allegheny its 1st Loss Before Falling to Wellesley in the Bottom of the 8th, Followed by Losses to Bowdoin & Kean

Erupting for six runs in the bottom of the 2nd to break a 2-2 tie, the Cardinals went on to defeat previously unbeaten Allegheny (9-1), 10-2, in five innings Mon., March 19 before going down to the wire vs. Wellesley, falling 5-4 as Wellesley snapped a 4-4 deadlock in the bottom of the 8th.  Up next was a pair of contests Wed., March 21 vs. Bowdoin and Kean.  The Cardinals fell to Bowdoin, 6-3, while Kean took a 12-1 decision in six innings.

Ashley McLaren '13 (photo insert upper right) delivered the last of five hits for Wesleyan in the 2nd vs. Allegheny with a two-run triple, making the score 8-2.  Earlier, after an error in right field helped open the door to allow the first run to score with one out, Chrissy Bello '12 stroked a sacrifice fly to bring in the second run of the inning, making the score 4-2.  Sam Epstein '12 (#11, main photo) then knocked in the fifth Cardinal run of the game with a single, her second RBI single of the game as she and Tori Redding '13 both drove home a run in the 1st.  Alexis Kral '12 added an RBI hit before McLaren finished off the scoring with her three-bagger.

Two more runs came in for Wesleyan in the 3rd, courtesy of a passed ball and an RBI safety by Jill Gately '15.  In the meantime, pitcher Caitlin Grudzinski '13 (#5, photo insert lower right) settled down to throw shutout ball over the final three innings to allow the game to end via the eight-run mercy rule. Though eight of Wesleyan's 10 runs in the contest were unearned due to a couple of untimely Allegheny errors, Wesleyan still collected nine hits to support its cause.

Against Wellesley, Wesleyan jumped out to a 3-0 lead after two innings, only to have Wellesley score two runs in both the 3rd and 4th inning to seize a 4-3 lead.  Wesleyan had gotten three of its four hits in the game during the first two inninigs with Bello knocking in a pair in the 1st and Lexi Parr '15 delivering a key double in the 2nd, leading to the run.  The Cardinals tied the game in the top of the 7th on Redding's RBI single with one out.  In the top of the 8th, Wesleyan got runners to second and third with one out but Wellesley got out of the jam with an unusual double play to end the threat.  Wellesley then scored the winner with one out to take the decision.

Facing Bowdoin, McLaren led off the 3rd with a solo blast to left to cut the Polar Bears' lead to 2-1, but Bowdoin added three in the bottom of the frame for a 5-1 edge.  Down 6-1 in the 7th, Wesleyan got a two-run single from Marissa Davila '15 to get within three but the rally stalled and Bowdoin took the three-run victory.

Kean took a 5-1 lead into the 6th inning but pushed across seven runs to end the game an inning early, 12-1.  Wesleyan had five hits in the contest with back-to-back triples by McLaren and Dana Levy '12 accounting for Wesleyan's run in the 3rd inning.

Wesleyan puts the finishing touches on its Florida excursion by taking on Union and SUNY New Paltz Thurs., March 22.