Cards Break School Record for Best Start at 6-0 Behind Strong Hitting & Pitching in Florida

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After disposing of Pine Manor in the team's first game of a 14-game tour in Clermont, Fla., 8-0 in five innings behind the two-hit pitching of Meaghan Dendy '10 (#7, photo upper left), Wesleyan faced Haverford in its second game Wed., March 10. Trailing 6-3 heading into the bottom of the 7th, the Cardinals pushed across four runs to pull out the 7-6 nail-biter. 

Sam Epstein '12 (#11, photo lower right) delivered the game-winning two-run double to center, chasing home Talia Bernstein '12 with the tying run and Alexis Kral '12 (#23, photo lower left) with the winning run. Epstein had two of the Cardinals' five hits in the game.

Caitlyn Grudzinski '13 (#5, photo upper right) pitched masterfully in relief of starter Dana Levy '12 and got the victory. She did not allow a hit or run in her 3.1 innings of work. Levy only yielded three hits in her 3.2 inning on the mound.

Dendy, who also went 2-for-3 at the plate with a pair of RBI in the opener, went the distance for her two-hitter while striking out six. The Cardinals collected 11 hits in the contest as Chrissy Bello '12 joined Dendy with a pair of safeties.

The Cardinals kept it going as they took on Lesley and Dominican (IL) in the next two games Thurs., March 11. Wesleyan subdued Lesley in five innings, 12-1, then took out Dominican, 9-2.

Wesleyan slammed three homers in the victory over Dominican, two by Kral who knocked in three runs. Bernstein had the other round-tripper as she went 3-for-4 in the contest with two RBI. The Cardinals banged out 14 hits vs. Dominican after collecting 10 hits in the Lesley game with Dendy smacking a pair of doubles.

Wesleyan's pitching was stellar through four games with a team ERA of just 0.58 and an opposing team batting average of .148. Dendy got the complete-game win over Dominican while Grudzinski was the victor over Lesley.

After a day off, the Cardinals had a pair of tough match-ups slated for Sat., March 13, facing the College of New Jersey and Western New England. Wesleyan proved victorious in both games to break the school record for best start at 6-0. The previous best (4-0) took place in 1994. The Cardinals downed TCNJ, 10-9 in 10 innings, as Kral laced the game-winning two-run double in the top of the 10th and Levy tossed the final six innings in relief to post her first win. Then in a game that didn't end until after midnight, the Cards built a 6-0 edge through five innings and held on for a 6-5 triumph over WNEC as Grudzinski went the distance on the mound. It was Wesleyan's first-ever victory over the Golden Bears in six all-time meetings.

Leading the way for Wesleyan against TCNJ was Bello with three hits. She leads the team through six games with a .563 average as the team is hitting .324 while opponents have a .213 average. Bernstein hit her second homer of the year. Against WNEC, Bello, Kral and Taylor Zavadsky '10 each had a pair of hits. With her RBI single in the 1st inning, Bernstein became the Wesleyan career record holder for RBIs with 66.

Upcoming are two more game Sun., March 14 as Wesleyan faces Babson, then SUNY Geneseo as the Florida trip passes the midway point.

(all photos courtesy of Ron Bernstein P'11)