Wesleyan rallied from an early 5-1 deficit in the opener as pitcher Dana Levy '12 (#10, left side photo) allowed just two runs over her seven innings of relief as the Cardinals took a 10-7 win in eight innings. For her outstanding effort over the Cardinals' five games, which including a three-home-run game at Trinity, Levy was selected NESCAC Player of the Week for a second time this season as well as NEISCA Division III Tri-Player of the Week. A six-run 3rd inning gave Wesleyan a 7-5 bulge as the Cards struck for six hits. A groundout by Alexis Kral '12 gave Wesleyan the lead at 6-5 and an illegal pitch made it 7-5. Middlebury did rally to tie the game 7-7 and send it into an extra inning.
Wesleyan took advantage of two Panthers errors to push across three unearned runs in the top of the 8th with Dendy and Chrissy Bello '12 each driving in a run. Wesleyan made the 10-7 lead hold up as Levy put the Panthers down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the frame, setting up a winner-take-all second game for a NESCAC playoff spot.
When Dendy got her first hit of the double-header, a single up the middle in the 6th inning of game one, it was her 174th career hit, breaking the school record of 173 held by Marcia Whitehead '08. Dendy finished the twin-bill with three safeties, moving her total to 176.
In the nightcap, Wesleyan alternated pitchers between Dendy and Levy as the teams entered the top of the 4th tied, 1-1. Wesleyan took the lead for good with a pair of runs as Talia Bernstein '11 led off with her record-breaking 11th double of the season and scored the go-ahead run on a single by Taylor Zavadsky '10. A double down the left-field line by Kral brought in Sam Epstein '12, who reached on an error, to make it 3-1. A three-run Cardinal outburst in the 6th, capped by Dendy's two-run triple, gave Wesleyan a 6-1 cushion.
Dendy started on the mound in the 7th inning but ran into trouble after getting two outs as Middlebury picked up three hits and three runs to make it 6-4 and had a runner at second. Levy took over pitching chores and despite being met by an initial Panther hit to put runners at the corners, snagged the final line drive to end the game and pick up a save.
With a 20-win season (20-15-1) and 8-4 conference mark, Wesleyan will be the second seed from the NESCAC West and take on Tufts, the top seed in the East, in a first-round tournament game at Williams Fri., May 7 at 5 p.m. Williams plays Bowdoin in the other first-round contest of the double-elimination tournament, which continues on Sat., May 8 with winners and losers from Friday playing, then the winner of the losers game taking on the loser of the winner's game in another elimination game. The championship game(s) are Sun., May 9. All of the games during the NESCAC tournament at Williams will be webcast and a link to see the games is available on the athletics home page under "Webcasts."