Following difficult competitions against Eastern Connecticut State University and NESCAC rival Williams, the softball team was eliminated from postseason play with two more opponents, Amherst and Middlebury, left on its schedule. Rather than dwell on what could have been, the Cardinals opted instead to celebrate a largely reassuring year.
“This has been one of the most memorable seasons I have ever experienced, in all my years of playing sports,” said Captain Amanda Roosa ’16. “I feel confident that my teammates would say the same thing.”
On Friday, April 24, the Birds lost at home to the Lord Jeffs, 4-0. The day after, Wesleyan was able to snag a 4-2 victory before dropping a tough 7-4 loss. On Sunday, the squad was triumphant again in a 2-1 final versus Middlebury, a team they lost twice to earlier in the year.
“We came together as a team, and we’re really proud of how we played,” said Izzy Linzer ’17. “We’re in a very tough conference, and even though we’re not going to NESCACs, we still feel like we had a great season.”
Taking the field together for the last time, co-captains Jill Gately ’15 and Roosa made key contributions in a three-game series with Amherst and a final victory against the Middlebury Panthers.
Gately had five hits total on the weekend and three RBIs, while Roosa managed to bat in a pair of Cardinals for runs in key situations.
Gately, the squad’s lone senior, is tied with Su Pardo ’16 for most RBIs on the season at 16, finished second in hits with 28, and second in home runs with two. She ended her career with 135 hits, eighth all-time at Wesleyan.
The team’s top hitter was Linzer, who had 37 connections and an average of .346, while Rielly Wieners ’17 knocked out three home runs over the course of the season to lead the team.
“It’s going to be very hard to say goodbye [to Gately],” Roosa said. “Since there were only twelve of us, we were all very close as a team.”
Throughout the year, Pardo’s pitching had been a highlight for the Cardinals, and the story was no different last weekend; Pardo only gave up four hits in the Amherst victory while allowing three singles and no runs against Middlebury. Throwing four strikeouts against the Panthers, she ended her career merely six away from tying the Wesleyan record.
Softball ended its season 4-8 in NESCACs with a 14-17-1 overall record.
“Although our record did not reflect our talent, we had an unbelievable time together,” Roosa said. “I wouldn’t have wanted to play with any other team. The NESCAC competition was so close this year that on any given day, any team could have won. There were a lot of upsets in our division this past season, and there wasn’t [a significant] gap between each team’s level of play.”
Despite lacking numbers in 2015, the softball squad had an awesome time and developed solid charisma. Given that most of the squad will return next season, the team has high hopes for 2016.
“I’m excited [for next year], because we are expecting a big recruiting class to help us out,” Roosa added. “Our goals for next year are to win the Little Three, and to [return] to the NESCAC tournament.”