Softball has had quite the eventful season thus far, nabbing exciting victories from solid opponents and even spending some parts of the year on the cusp of playoff contention. Especially impressive was its 2-1 series win over Hamilton at home just two weeks ago, and a 2-0 series victory against Trinity a week later. Hamilton is second in the NESCAC East, making those wins especially impressive.
The latest challenges from Eastern Connecticut and Williams, though, eliminated Wesleyan’s playoff hopes. The Cardinals scrapped and fought hard in a 3-3 tie and 6-4 defeat against Eastern before taking some tough losses against Williams, the eighth-ranked team in New England.
“I think we may have gotten a little over-anxious this weekend,” said Angelina Massoia ’17. “We did a lot of really good things, but our bats weren’t quite where they needed to be to win.”
After finding themselves down three runs in both games against Eastern, Wesleyan surged back to force an extra inning, ending the first contest in a tie and the second in a tight loss.
Sophomores Izzy Linzer and Rielly Weiners both managed three hits against ECSU, while Captain Jill Gately ’15 chipped in with two, including a double in the fourth inning of the first game to spur a comeback from down three. Massoia had a solid weekend herself: in the ECSU series, she had two key hits that led to runs scored for the Cardinals.
“We fought hard and stayed positive all weekend,” Massoia said. “Our pitchers did a great job. I think we still have a good chance to make a difference in the NESCAC this weekend against Amherst.”
Su Pardo ’16 pitched the entire second game, giving up only five hits and two earned runs with seven strikeouts. Although the final score wasn’t in Wesleyan’s favor, Pardo truly held down the mound for the Cardinals. Only a third inning scoring burst by ECSU, after a leadoff triple to left center led to a two-run homer and sacrifice bunt, marked an otherwise solid performance.
Pardo was one of the bright spots during the Williams series; although the Cardinals couldn’t find much luck in their three losses to the Ephs, the first 7-0 loss ended with some stellar relief work by the junior. She recorded the last 11 outs with two hits, no runs, and five strikeouts. Saturday’s 9-0 and 10-2 defeats featured more connections for Massoia, who went two-for-two with a double.
The final game stood at 4-2 through five innings, aided by 3rd inning RBIs courtesy of Gately and Julie McDonald ’18. Gately, McDonald, and Wieners also each reached safely twice. Gately batted an impressive .333 in her senior weekend against the Ephs, and will be the only subtraction to next year’s roster.
“We have all week to work hard on [the important things],” Massoia said. “[We should] go into this weekend confident, because we can definitely beat Amherst and win our one game with Middlebury on Sunday.”
Although Wesleyan has been eliminated from playoff contention, the squad now looks forward to a three-game NESCAC West series with rival Amherst, followed by a final test against the Panthers of Middlebury. The team now stands at 12-15-1 overall and 2-6 in NESCAC West play. That record is good for last in their division and third-to-last in all of the NESCAC. Amherst and Middlebury, though, stand right above them, and a strong end could drastically change the legacy of this season. It could put them at or above the .500 mark both in and out of conference.
“The team’s primary focus is to play up to our potential, and worry about what we can control,” Pardo said. “We need to stay within ourselves, and make the routine plays.”