Cards Avenge Series-Opening Loss to Amherst by Sweeping Double-Header to Help Playoff Bid

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Alexis Kral '12 (#23, photo by Ron Bernstein P'11) highlighted a 13-hit Wesleyan attack in the first game of its home double-header against NESCAC West and Little Three rival Amherst Sat., April 24 with a pair of home runs during her 3-for-3 performance while Meaghan Dendy '10 went 3-for-4 in the nightcap and Sam Epstein '12 was 2-for-2 with a four-bagger as the Cardinals secured wins of 9-4 and 8-2. The day before, Amherst had recovered from a 6-0 deficit to take the opening game of the three-game series, 7-6. 

With a 6-3 conference mark, Wesleyan has set up a showdown for a NESCAC tournament spot with Middlebury, also 6-3 in league play. Wesleyan and Middlebury begin their three-game series Friday, May 30. Before that, Wesleyan travels to Trinity for a double-header Wed., April 28.

Amherst struck first in both games April 24, going ahead 2-0 in the 1st inning of the opener and 1-0 in the nightcap. Wesleyan quickly responded in both, pulling ahead 6-2 in the bottom of the 3rd of game one and 7-2 in the bottom of the 3rd of game two. Amherst got just two hits over the final four innings of the second game off Wesleyan starter Dana Levy '12, who tossed a nearly complete-game five-hitter. A wild streak by Levy in the 1st inning resulted in a run as she walked four batters in the inning. She was relieved for the final out by Dendy but returned to pitch the rest of the game. In the opener, Wesleyan starter Caitlyn Grudzinski '13 gave up 10 hits but went the distance to log her-team leafing eighth triumph.

Wesleyan took the lead for good in game one when Talia Bernstein '11 hit a bases-loaded single for two RBI to break a 2-2 tie in the 2nd inning. Wesleyan added four in the 3rd, capped by the first of Kral?s dingers, a two-run shot to left center. Amherst managed single runs in the 5th and 6th to get as close as 6-4 before Wesleyan wrapped it up with a three-run outburst in its half of the 6th. Kral's second home run started the rally.

A five-run Wesleyan outpouring in the 3rd broke a 2-2 deadlock in the second game. Three of the runs were unearned due to a pair of Amherst miscues. Kral added another RBI with a hard ground single to third that caused the injury to Horan. The last Wesleyan run came in the 6th when Chrissy Bello '12 extended her hitting streak to 18 games with a double to right center for an RBI. She leads Wesleyan with a .462 average.

Wesleyan had gotten off to a splendid start during the first game of the series vs. Amherst as the Cardinals banged out six hit and scored six runs in the 1st inning at Amherst Fri., April 23. Wesleyan had all six runs on the board before the second out was recorded and the inning's initial out was a sacrifice fly by Taylor Zavadsky '10. Sam Epstein '12 capped the frame with a two-run single. Other RBI came off doubles by Dendy and Bello and a single by Levy.

But the scoring stopped for the Cardinals and through four innings, it didn't matter as Dendy allowed just one Lord Jeff hit over four innings. That changed in the 5th as Amherst rallied for five runs on five hits to make it a 6-5 game. It stayed that way until the bottom of the 7th.

With two outs and a runner on via a walk, Amherst got a double to bring home the tying run. A single followed as the winning run scampered home for the walk-off victory.