Cardinals defeat softball in 2 of 3

Softball (7-11, 3-3 in the NESCAC) dropped two of three to Wesleyan (11-13, 6-3) in Middletown over the weekend after beating Western New England (14-6) twice last Wednesday. The Ephs lost to the Cardinals on Friday, then split a doubleheader on Sunday.

Sunday began well for the women. In the first game of the double-header, the Ephs jumped out to a 17-4 lead in the first three innings behind the bats of Becky Sansone ’09 and Joey Lye ’09, who had four and three RBIs in the first three innings, respectively.

The Cardinals fought back, however. Wesleyan managed to rack up 10 more runs to make the score 17-14 after the fifth. Williams was able put another run on the board in the sixth to make it 18-14, this time with another RBI from Sansone.

The game ended that way after a scoreless seventh inning. For the game, Williams left six on base and Wesleyan left on nine; Lye stole the only two bases of the game and also managed to go 3-3 with two walks and four runs. Sansone went 3-4 with two runs, and Morgan Simpson ’09, Libby Copeland-Halperin ’09 and Carly Ameen ’11 contributed two RBIs each. The win for Williams went to Simpson, who pitched six innings.

The second game of the double header did not end as well for the Ephs. While the women were able to open up a narrow 1-0 lead after two innings, the Cardinals managed five runs in the third. After scoring two runs in the top of the sixth to make it 5-3, the Ephs gave up another in the bottom of the sixth to bring the score to 6-3.

The Ephs tried to mount a rally in the top of the seventh, and it looked like they had a chance as Sansone drove in Oriana McGee ’12 to make the score 6-4 with only one out and two on base. Unfortunately, the Ephs’ comeback was stopped when the Cardinals pitcher struck out the next two Williams batters. Copeland-Halperin went 2-3 and drove in three of the four runs for Williams in the second game of the double header. Simpson scored two runs and also went 2-3.

Sunday’s doubleheader between the Little Three rivals followed a game Friday, also in Middletown. The Ephs fell 5-4 on Friday after Wesleyan scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth to take the lead and held Williams scoreless in the top of the seventh. Both of Wesleyan’s sixth-inning runs were unearned.

The Cardinals’ series victory gave them a 6-3 division record that puts them atop the NESCAC West standings; Williams fell to third in the division at 3-3.

Overall, the team thought it could have shown better performances over the weekend. “This weekend was not a good indication of our potential,” Lye said. “We are a better team than we showed and are not satisfied with the outcome of the series.” 

Lye felt that the weekend showed some of the Ephs’ talent, but that there was a lot to improve on. “On Sunday, we proved what we are capable of on offense during the first game but were unable to string enough hits together to bring home a second win,” she said. “We made some physical and mental errors in the field and at the plate that cost us.”
Following this weekend, the team is focusing on the fundamentals and isn’t looking too far into the future.

“We just need to minimize our mistakes,” Lye said. “Doing the little things will take us a long way. We have two practices and two games this week before our next NESCAC series, and that’s as far as we’re looking ahead at this time.”

This weekend’s games followed a doubleheader against Western New England last Wednesday. The Ephs won both games, the first 2-1, the second 5-4.

Mary Beth Daub ’11 pitched a gem in the first game, going seven innings and striking out 10 while only giving up one run for the win. Caitlin Cain ’11 won the second game for the Ephs, with four runs allowed but only two earned.

This week’s games came after a spring break trip to California, on which the Ephs went 4-9. Two of the women’s four wins in California came against NESCAC West foe Middlebury.
The team was supposed to play Springfield on Monday, but the game has been rescheduled for April 20. The team plays Keene State today at home before facing off against NESCAC opponent Hamilton in a three-game series over Friday and Saturday.