MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The Wesleyan University softball team exploded with a nine-run third inning on Friday during a 9-6 victory over NESCAC West Division-foe Hamilton at the Wesleyan Softball Field, as the Cardinals are now riding a five-game winning streak at home.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Facing a 1-0 deficit heading into the bottom of the third, the Cardinals (13-12, 1-5 NESCAC West Division) rose to the occasion, as the hosts tallied seven singles during a nine-run inning. Junior Olivia Gorman started the rally with a leadoff single through the right side, and then sophomore Rachel Curran, and freshmen Maddie Ikeda and Brenna Monroe tallied RBI singles during the push.
- The Continentals (10-17, 1-5 NESCAC West Division) answered the bell, as sophomore Emily Fraser opened the fourth with a triple to center, and then scored during the next at-bat on an RBI by junior Liz Brautigam, trimming the deficit to 9-2.
- Hamilton tacked on another four runs in the fifth, doing all of the scoring with two done, on a two-run single by sophomore Kendall Searcy, and RBI singles by Fraser and Brautigam, as all of a sudden the Continentals were within 9-6.
- Freshman Maria Noto, who has been strong in relief this year for the Cardinals, earned the save, as she entered the game in the bottom of the fifth with the tying run on deck. She forced a pop out to get out of the jam, and then did not allow any runs on three hits in the final two innings, to go along with a trio of strikeouts.
- The visitors opened up the scoring in the top of the first on an RBI ground out by Fraser, which scored sophomore Caitlin Bereitter from third.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Senior captain and starting pitcher Julie McDonald (5-5) earned the win, giving up four earned runs on five hits in 4 2/3 innings, while striking out two and walking a pair. The Commack, N.Y. native, who has four complete-game victories this season, got into a nice rhythm in the second and third, retiring the side in order during both innings, and then she got out of the fourth inning by turning a double play on a line drive back to the mound.
- Junior relief pitcher Dez DePaulis (3-7) was tagged with the loss for the visitors, allowing five earned runs on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings. She finished with one strikeout and walked three batters.
- Monroe (2-for-3, RBI, run) and junior Kendall Carr (2-for-4, run) led the way from an offensive perspective for the Cardinals, and Fraser (2-for-4, triple, two RBIs, two runs) and Brautigam (2-for-4, two RBIs) starred for Hamilton.
- Wesleyan held a 9-8 lead in hits, and Hamilton made six errors, while the Cardinals made four. The hosts stranded 11 runners on base, and the visitors left five on the base path.
- The Cardinals will look to continue their momentum on Saturday, as the Cardinals will honor their senior captains in McDonald and catcher Rielly Wieners during a doubleheader against Hamilton, starting at noon.