CLERMONT, Fla. – Senior captain Rielly Wieners notched her 100th career hit for the Wesleyan University softball team on Wednesday, as the Cardinals went 3-0 in Clermont, Fla., en route to finishing their spring trip with an above-.500 record at 6-5.
The Cardinals put a stamp on their trip with a 6-5 victory over Clarkson, a 2-0 shutout against Wooster, and a thrilling 5-3 win over Lawrence in eight innings.
GAME 1 HIGHLIGHTS (Wesleyan 6, Clarkson 5):
- Freshman pitcher Maria Noto (1-1) collected her first win in a Cardinals' uniform, giving up three earned runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings, and Rielly Wieners, Danielle Rinaldi and Rachel Curran all recorded multi-hit games, while combining for three RBIs and two runs scored.
- The Cardinals (6-5) built a 6-1 lead heading into the sixth, but the Golden Knights (2-9-1) tallied three runs in the top half of the six, trimming the deficit to two going into the seventh.
- Clarkson kept applying pressure in the final frame, putting runners on first and third with no outs off a walk by sophomore Danielle Whitham and a bunt single by freshman Hannah Bowen. Cardinals rookie pitcher Lauren Gaffney-Gomez then forced senior Summer Lancette to ground out to shortstop, but Bowen advanced to second and Whitham crossed home with Clarkson's fifth run, shaving the Cardinals' lead to 6-5. Gaffney-Gomez kept the ball in the infield again, as senior Bridget Woolley grounded out to second, advancing the tying run in Bowen to third with two down. Gaffney-Gomez came through in a high-pressure situation, whiffing sophomore Michele Winn en route to earning her first collegiate save.
- Wesleyan found its way onto the scoreboard in the bottom half of the first, as Wieners delivered with an RBI single to second, plating junior Olivia Gorman from third. Clarkson pulled even at 1-1 in the third on an unearned run by junior Sam Mennig. In the bottom of the third, the Cardinals took the lead for good at 2-1 on a two-out RBI single to center by senior captain Julie McDonald.
- Wesleyan tallied two-run innings in the fourth and fifth, with Rinaldi sending Gorman home on a two-out RBI single through the right side in the fourth. Rinaldi, who grew up in Ewing, N.J., gave the group a 4-1 edge, crossing home plate on an error by the right fielder.
- In the bottom of the fifth, Curran crushed an RBI triple to right, scoring McDonald, and then during the next at-bat, sophomore Maddie Ikeda ripped an RBI single to center, giving the unit a 6-1 advantage.
- Clarkson's three-run effort in the sixth featured a one-out, two-run triple to right by sophomore Hannah Isaacson, and a two-out RBI single to right by Mennig.
- Lancette (2-for-4, RBI, run) and Mennig (2-for-3, RBI, run) played well for Clarkson, while junior Maggie Stark (0-5) suffered the loss, giving up four earns run on 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings. Wesleyan held an 11-8 advantage in hits.
GAME 2 HIGHLIGHTS (Wesleyan 2, Wooster 0):
- Wieners went 3-for-3 at the plate, tallying her 100th career hit and a home run, while Rinaldi (2-2) earned the complete-game win, surrendering no runs on five hits, and striking out seven hitters.
- In the top of the fourth, Wieners, who hails from West Springfield, Mass., stepped up to the plate like she has so many times during her stellar four-year collegiate career, but the outcome of this one carried extra meaning, as she smashed a leadoff single up the middle, which marked her 100th career hit.
- Wieners's next at-bat probably met more to her, as she drilled the game-winning solo homer over the fence in center with one out in the sixth, giving the team a 1-0 advantage. With two down in the frame, McDonald added some insurance, directing a two-out single to left, scoring freshman Marina Williams from second.
- Rinaldi found a nice rhythm on the mound, retiring the side in order during the second, third and fifth frames, as Wesleyan avenged a 5-4 loss to Wooster last Sunday.
- Freshman Brenna Monroe went 2-for-3 at the plate for Wesleyan with two singles, and sophomore Marina Roski recorded two doubles for Wooster (6-8). The Cardinals held an 8-5 advantage in hits.
- Senior Maddy Chase (1-2) pitched effectively for the Fighting Scots, going seven strong innings, and only giving up the two runs on eight hits, while striking out seven hitters.
GAME 3 HIGHLIGHTS (Wesleyan 5, Lawrence 3):
- With the game knotted at 3-3 in the top of the eighth, freshman Alyssa DaSilva came through in the clutch for the Cardinals, as she hit the game-clinching, two-run single to left with one out, which allowed Curran and junior Kendall Carr to cross home.
- Rinaldi (3-2) earned the win in relief for the Cardinals, as she faced a difficult situation in the bottom of the eighth with runners on second and third and no outs, as the game-winning run came to the plate. The superb athlete dug deep and refused to allow any runs, as she tallied back-to-back strikeouts, and then forced a pop out in foul ground to clinch the win.
- The Cardinals raced out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the third, as Wieners nailed a two-run double with two outs to center, and then Monroe chipped in with an RBI single through the right side.
- The Vikings (3-5) responded in the bottom of the fourth with freshman Liz Jonjak crossing home on a two-out RBI single to center by sophomore Emilia Jackson.
- Lawrence forced extra innings with a two-run push in the bottom of the seventh, as junior Rachel Urich and sophomore Amanda Karnatz led off with back-to-back singles, and then junior Sofie Pedersen advanced them into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Urich crossed home on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Lexi Angemi, and Karnatz tied the game at 3-3 on a two-out, RBI single through the left side by freshman Ceara Larson.
- McDonald started and pitched well through six innings for Wesleyan, finishing with nine strikeouts, and only allowing one run on six hits. Jackson (1-3) went the distance for the Vikings, giving up five runs on 15 hits.
- Rinaldi (3-for-5, double, run) and Williams (2-for-4) led the charge for the Cardinals. Larson registered a three-hit performance with an RBI for Lawrence, and junior Madeline MacLean belted a single and a double. Wesleyan led the hits category, 14-9.
- The Cardinals will return north for their home-opening doubleheader against Coast Guard, which is scheduled for Wednesday, March 28, starting at 3 p.m. from the Wesleyan Softball Field in Middletown, Conn.