Cardinals Pull out Little 3 Win vs. Amherst, 8-7, in Completion of Halted Game, Then Go Down to the Wire with WNE Twice
Completing a game started on March 29 that was halted due to rain and darkness, Wesleyan and Amherst finished their NESCAC West series Tues., April 22 as the Cardinals scored an unearned run in the bottom of the 6th and got solid pitching from Su Pardo '16 (#6, photo lower right) to lock up the 8-7 victory. Both Wesleyan and Amherst have been eliminated from post-season play as Williams and Middlebury have clinched the post-season NESCAC tournament spots from the West. Wesleyan had a home double-header vs. Western New England Wed., April 23, falling, 2-1 and 11-9. The Cardinals close out the year Sat., April 26 at home with a twin-bill against Trinity.
When play resumed, Wesleyan held a 7-6 lead in the top of the 5th inning. Amherst tied the game in the top of the 6th after a single, a stolen base, and an RBI single up the middle. In the bottom of the 6th, Amy Lindland '14 (#1, photo lower left) beat out a grounder to shortstop for a hit. She was sacrificed to second base by Jamie Hom '17 (#12, photo upper left), but never stopped running as she headed for third base. An errant throw by Amherst to third allowed Lindland to score what proved to be the winning run. Pardo picked up five of the final seven outs via strikeout to finish the game with 10, getting two in the 7th to secure the victory.
Wesleyan had forged a 7-3 lead in the game behind a two-run homer by Abby Rutt '17 (#10, photo upper right), her fifth of the year, in the 1st inning and a 3-run shot by Hom in the 2nd. Amherst got a three-run homer in the 5th just before play was halted to make it a 7-6 count. Hom, Rutt and Jill Gately '15 (#17, middle photo) all had two safeties each for Wesleyan, which picked up nine hits in the contest.
Facing WNE, Pardo had a four-hit shutout going into the 7th inning but a hit batter and a home run helped the Golden Bears pull out the triumph. Pardo collected 10 strikeouts in the contest. Wesleyan's run came in the 1st inning when Lindland walked, moved to second on a ground out and scored on Gately's single. In the nightcap, Gately went 4-for-4, giving her a 6-for-7 afternoon, with two homers and a double. She now has 14 career round-trippers, more than any previous Cardinal. Wesleyan came back on several occasions to tie the score, the last time at 6-6 in the bottom of the 5th. But in the top of the 7th, WNE rallied for five runs for an 11-6 bulge. Wesleyan responded with three runs of its own and had the bases loaded with one out, but couldn't sustain the momentum. Rutt had another homer, giving her six on the year and a team-best .419 average and 28 RBI. Pardo now has 156 strikeouts in 118 innings, four more than she had a year ago in the identical amount of work.