Cardinals Push Middlebury into Extra-Innings Twice but Come up Short in NESCAC West Twin-Bill

Grabbing a 2-0 lead in the top of the 1st inning on RBI singles by Jamie Hom '17 (#12, left side photo) and Molly Grunat '16 as Wesleyan banged out four hits, the lead lasted into the bottom of the 7th as Wesleyan held a 2-1 edge in the first game of a twin-bill Sat., April 12, completing a NESCAC West series at Middlebury.  But the Panthers pushed across the tying run in the final frame with a walk and two singles, sending the contest into extra innings. Neither team scored during the 8th or 9th inning, bringing the international tie-breaker into play.  Wesleyan took advantage in the top of the 10th, as Su Pardo '16, who tossed a complete game, yielding seven hits and two earned runs with 10 strikeouts, scored on a soft single to shortstop by Angelina Massoia '17 after moving to third base on a sacrifice bunt by Christina Zaccardi '17.  Once again, the Panthers responded to tie the game in the bottom of the 10th on an infield throwing error, then score the winning run on a sacrifice fly as the Panther runner just beat the throw home by Alex Sarkowsky '14 (#3, right side photo).

In the nightcap, Wesleyan again outhit its host, having produced an 11-7 margin in game one, and an 8-7 margin in game two, but came up a 4-3 loser in eight innings.  This time, Wesleyan played catch up, recovering from an early 3-0 deficit to tie the game in the top of the 7th on Sarkowsky's run-scoring single.  The Cardinals also had single runs in the 4th and 5th, with Grunat driving in the first run and Hom knocking in the second.  Annalie Walsh-Costello '1, who had a pinch-hit single in game one, went 2-for-4 in the second game, as did Abby Rutt '17.  Sarkowsky was 2-for-2 along with her RBI.  The game came to an abrupt end in the bottom of the 8th after Wesleyan got two players on in the top of the inning but failed to score.  A leadoff single turned into a run after a Cardinal misplay in the outfield.  Laura Getchell '14 went the distance in the mound, yielding three earned runs with five strikeouts.

Ahead for the Cardinals is a double-header at Eastern Conn. Wed., April 16 in non-league action.