Facing Union (NY) and SUNY New Paltz on the final day of their excursion to Florida Thurs., March 22, the Cardinals fell to the former, 8-2, and the latter, 5-4. Wesleyan out-hit both rivals, collecting 10 safeties to eight by Union and 10 hits to seven by New Paltz. Leading the squad at the plate was the duo of Sam Epstein '12 (#11, main photo) and Alexis Kral '12 (#23, photo insert lower right). These two combined for eight of the team's 20 hits as each had a pair of safeties in each game for a very consistent performance.
Epstein had three extra-base hits with two doubles and a solo homer, that coming against New Paltz to help Wesleyan pull out to an early 2-0 edge. But New Paltz scored the next five runs for a 5-2 margin after four innings. Wesleyan chipped away with a run in the 5th, courtesy of three errors, to make it 5-3 and pushed across a run in the 7th thanks to back-to back doubles by Marissa Davila '15 and Kral for the RBI, her second of the contest. But Kral, the tying run, was stranded at second when New Paltz induced a line out and a ground out to end the game.
In the first game, Epstein had an RBI double in the 1st to spot the Cards a quick advantage, but Union racked up eight runs between the 3rd and 5th innings for an 8-1 lead. Wesleyan's second run in the 6th came on a sacrifice fly by Allee Beatty '13.
Kral led the team during the trip with a .368 average while Beatty was next with her .348 average and team-best 16 hits. Epstein produced a .318 average with a team-leading .545 slugging percentage as she collected four doubles and a pair of homers. Jill Gately '15, whose .306 average was highest among the newcomers, led the squad in RBI with 10. As a team, Wesleyan hit .285 and was just four hits shy of its rivals despite a 4-10 mark over the 14 games. Wesleyan had a higher slugging percentage (.405 vs. .386) and had a .917 fielding percentage, slightly better than the .911 mark of the opposition. Wesleyan had a little trouble in the pitching area with control, issuing 50 walks while its opponents walked just 29, and uncorking 19 wild pitches to just three by the opponents.
Wesleyan begins the northern schedule Fri., March 30 with the first of three home NESCAC West games against Hamilton.
(photos courtesy of David Getchell P'14)