Cards Close Out West Coast Swing with Big Wins over Tufts and St. Mary's for 4-0 Finish to Trip
Meaghan Dendy '10 (photo courtesy of Ron Bernstein P'11) blasted a 7th-inning, three-run home run to lift the Cardinals over defending NESCAC champ Tufts, 9-6, in the first of two games Thurs., March 20 during the Sun West tournament in Orange County, Calif. Then Wesleyan built up an 11-2 lead before settling for an 11-7 victory over St. Mary's (MN) in the final game of the California excursion. After a 1-9 start to the trip, the Cardinals finished on a high note with four straight victories. Perhaps none was more satisfying than avenging one of the team's final losses in 2007 during the first round of the NESCAC tournament hosted by Tufts. Dendy opened that game in Medford, Mass. with a home run before Tufts went on to capture an 11-2 decision. Today Wesleyan moved out to a 6-0 lead after batting in the top of the 5th. Tufts rallied to tie the game with three runs in both the 5th and 6th. But Dendy untied it as her round-tripper with both Alicia Collen '08 and Julia Chamberlin '09 aboard put the Cards up 9-6 and Dendy closed out the complete-game win on the mound with no damage in the bottom of the 7th. Against St. Mary's, Wesleyan sent 11 to the plate during a six-run 4th inning as Taylor Zavadsky '10 picked up two hits in the frame and both Collen and Talia Bernstein '11 had a key two-run single. Wesleyan added two in the 5th and three more in the 7th for a comfortable nine-run cushion. Though Karla Hargrave '08, who pitched the first five innings then sat in favor of Anu Rimal '11 in relief but returned to the mound after Rimal was injured by a line drive, ran into trouble in the bottom of the 7th, Wesleyan kept the lead and Dendy came on to pitch the final out in the 11-7 final. Wesleyan opened its northern schedule Tues., March 25 with a visit to Elms to inaugurate the Blazers' new field in Chicopee, Mass. The home team came away with a 2-1 decision as Wesleyan was limited to five hits. Still the Cards drew first bllod as Dendy scored in the 4th on an RBI single by Bernstein. Elms rallied for two runs in the 5th on four straight singles. Wesleyan got the bases loaded with one out in the 7th but couldn't get the equalizer as a force at home and a groundout ended the game. Wesleyan will begin play on its own new field when it hosts Hamilton for a three-game series starting Sat., March 29. The opening game of the series was slated for Fri., March 28 but that game has been rescheduled for Sun., March 30. It is possible the single game of the series will be Sat., followed by the double-header Sun. It is hoped a Sunday game can be webcast with details to follow.