Softball Sweeps Wesleyan, Earns NESCAC West Top Seed
April 27, 2013
Middlebury swept Wesleyan in a double-header at Wesleyan to wrap-up the top seed in the NESCAC West standings with a 10-2 conference mark while improving to 23-9 overall. Wesleyan slipped to 24-10 overall and 7-5 in league action, but still qualified for the upcoming NESCAC tourney at host Tufts. Middlebury will play Bowdoin at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 3rd to start the double-elimination tournament.
The visiting Panthers broke open a 2-2 game in the opener with an eight-run eruption in the 5th inning, initiated by Jessa Hoffman’s fourth round-tripper of the season, putting Middlebury ahead for good. A sacrifice fly by Carlyn Vachow following a double by Emily Kraytenberg made it 4-2. Sarah Boylan added a triple to make it 5-2, and Emma Katz kept it going with an RBI single for a 6-2 lead. A Wesleyan error opened the door, allowing four more unearned runs to cross the plate, with a two-run double by Kraytenberg, her second two-bagger of the inning, being the big blow. When pitcher Neve Stearns retired Wesleyan one-two-three in the bottom of the 5th, the game ended 10-2. It was the only inning for Stearns as Alexa Lesenskyj (6-6) tossed the first four innings and got the win. Wesleyan had single runs in the 3rd and 4th inning on an RBI double by Tori Redding and an RBI triple by Alex Sarkowsky to erase what had been a 2-0 Middlebury lead.
Stearns started the second game for Middlebury, going two innings before giving way to Elizabeth Morris, who hurled the next seven in the 0-0 deadlock, yielding just two hits and a walk with five strikeouts. Stearns (2-1) retook the mound for the 10th inning and got the win when the Panthers scored an unearned run off Cardinal hurler Su Pardo (12-2), who went all 11 innings, allowing seven hits with eight strikeouts and one walk. A dropped pop-up and a walk got runners to first and second for Middlebury in the 11th. A single down the third-base line by Jessica Poracky plated the only run of the contest. Wesleyan got runners into scoring position in both the 8th and 10th innings, but could not produce a run.