Softball has battled through a rigorous season, having played 25 games so far. The team has enjoyed its start to the season, traveling down to sunny Florida for the annual spring break training trip. While down south, the Cardinals competed against tough teams such as Western Connecticut State University and University of New England.
Senior trio Izzy Linzer, Jamie Hom, and Christina Zaccardi look to enjoy their time on the softball squad as they prepare for their farewell season. So far, the seniors seem to be locked in, as they have only a few weeks left in their season, and hope to replicate the previous season where the Cards finished with a 21-14 record. On April 11, the Dirty Birds split a double-header with Eastern Connecticut State University.
As students celebrated the end of WesFest, an annual tradition where prefrosh come and visit campus, the softball team started its weekend off in a head-to-head matchup with Little Three rival Amherst. The series started in Middletown on the home turf as the Cardinals challenged the Mammoths to gain an advantage for the Little Three crown.
However, the Mammoths stormed off to a 3-0 lead and the Cardinals were unable to score despite runners being on first and second in the bottom of the fourth inning. Jo Jo Diaz ’20 was able to score on a passed ball in the bottom of the sixth to get Wesleyan on the board. Zaccardi produced a highlight diving catch in centerfield to rob Amherst of an extra-base hit in the top of the seventh. Amidst the highlight play, Wesleyan fell short 6-1, but Linzer, Hom, Hayley Lipson ’20, and Kendall Carr ’19 were able to each register hits. The Dirty Birds needed to regroup to prepare for the rest of the weekend, as they were set to play Amherst on the road.
The softball squad traveled to Amherst, Mass. the next morning, where the Cardinals hoped to avenge their home loss in a climactic doubleheader matchup. Julie McDonald ’18 was involved in a classic pitching duel with Amherst’s Jackie Buechler, as neither team got on the scoring board during the first two innings. McDonald performed impressively, allowing just one run in six innings. However, the Mammoths were able to break the scoreless tie in the bottom of the third. The Cards looked to surge and come back from one run down, as Rachel Kantor ’19 would steal second to put runners in scoring position with two outs. But they would be stranded, as Amherst was able to hold on and claim the win. Buechler was named NESCAC Player of the Week for her dominating performance.
Following the loss was the second game of the double-header, as the Red and Black looked to keep their heads up and see if they could get at least one win away from home. Yet Amherst was once again able to take a lead early into the contest. Kantor tied the game with a homer to left field in the second, but Amherst went on to score three runs in the bottom of the second to lead 4-1.
In the fourth, the Mammoths were able to put up another six runs, ultimately giving them victory via the mercy rule after the Cards had one more opportunity for redemption in the top of the fifth. Lipson, Carr, and Kantor each notched a hit for the Dirty Birds, and even after a tough weekend, they kept their heads held high and stayed positive. No matter the outcome or result, the team fought hard and were relentless in its desire for victory. The squad will get back in action today as they host the Middlebury Panthers on the Wesleyan softball field at 5 p.m.