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Cardinals Capture First Divisional Crown by Winning 2-of-3 vs. Amherst, to Host NESCAC Tourney

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Splitting a double-header with Amherst Sat., April 19 in Middletown, Wesleyan secured home field for the upcoming NESCAC tournament May 2-4 as the first-place team in the West. Sporting a 10-2 league mark, the Cards improved upon last year's 9-3 conference record and clinched no worse than a tie for the Little Three title with a 4-2 record. Wesleyan's victory on Sat. came in game two, 9-3, after Amherst had claimed a 1-0 victory in game one. Scoring three times in the 1st inning, Wesleyan locked up game two with a six-run output in the 4th. Taylor Zavadsky '10 led the way in the frame by putting a one-hopper into the fence in right-center with the bases loaded for two RBI. Another run scored on the play due to a throwing error and Zavadsky, who finished the game with three hits and three RBI, scored on a sacrifice fly by Molly O'Connell '09. Meaghan Dendy '10 won her seventh straight decision, all of the vs. NESCAC West opponents, with a five-hitter. She had six strikeouts. Karla Hargrave '08 had similar numbers in game one but Wesleyan came up empty in the scoring department while Hargrave yielded a lone run. Wesleyan stranded four runners at third base in the contest. The day before in Amherst, Wesleyan unleashed a 16-hit attack while playing errorless ball to take game one in the series, 11-2 in six innings. Wesleyan jumped out to a 7-1 lead after three innings with help from Talia Bernstein '11 who got three RBI in the opening two innings on a pair of hits. While Bernstein had two safeties, Marcia Whitehead '08 (#6, photo insert upper left) and Hargrave (#17, main photo) each went 3-for-3 on the day. Whitehead had a double and a run scored. Hargrave drove in the 10th run in the 6th inning which allowed Wesleyan to invoke the mercy rule and end the game an inning early. On the mound, Dendy won her sixth straight decision as she and Anu Rimal '11, who pitched the final three innings to record her third save of the year, joined forces for the seven-hit effort. The Cardinals are 16-3 in their last 19 games and are ranked 10th in this week's New England Division III poll. On Wed., April 23, the team played regionally ranked Western Conn. and fell 5-1. Western picked up three of its six hits off Hargrave with two outs in the 1st inning to chase home three runs, then added unearned runs in the 2nd and 4th. Wesleyan got its run in the 4th on consecutive singles by Bernstein and Zavadsky, followed by an RBI double from Anu Rimal '11. But the team was held to four hits by a collection of three WCSU hurlers. Wesleyan will get a taste of the upcoming NESCAC tournament when it plays a pair of games at Trinity Sat., April 26 in its next outing. Trinity, the second-place team in the East, will be Wesleyan's first-round adversary on May 2 in the NESCAC tournament. The games at Trinity will have an audio webcast courtesy of the Bantams. A link to get to the broadcast is located on the Wesleyan athletics home page under "Webcasts."