New London, Conn. -—April 28, 2010 -- Hayley Feindel fired her fourth no-hitter of the season and second of the tournament and then followed that up with a one-hit shutout as top-seeded Coast Guard won a pair of games to force a second championship game versus second-seeded and two-time defending tournament champion Springfield College in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) softball tournament this afternoon. The second championship game will be played on Thursday at 4 p.m. at Coast Guard with the winner getting the automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament which begins on May 13th.
Feindel, who leads the nation with 322 strikeouts and 13 shutouts, threw the no-hitter against third-seeded Babson as the Bears won 3-0 in the first game of the day, the loser’s bracket final, and then sophomore Jamie Kim’s RBI single in the bottom of the seventh gave the Bears a 1-0 walk off win in the first championship game against Springfield.
Coast Guard (29-8) is seeking its first NEWMAC tournament championship. The Bears were the runners up in 2004. Springfield (22-17-1), meanwhile, is looking for its fourth NEWMAC tournament title.
The first championship game was a pitcher’s duel between Feindel and Springfield freshman righthander Stef Grande.
Springfield’s only hit was a one-out single by freshman second baseman Breann Joyce in the second inning. Feindel retired the last ten batters that she faced and finished with one walk and two strikeouts to improve to 27-8 on the season.
Senior Carin Sweeney led off the bottom of the seventh with a walk. Then senior Courtney Wolf, who leads the team with nine homers, laid down a bunt that was misplayed and Sweeney advanced to second. Following a strikeout, Kim delivered the game winner, a single up the middle, her second hit of the game.
Grande (10-11) allowed just four hits, all singles, while walking two and striking out four. She was the winning pitcher when the Pride beat the Bears 4-1 earlier in the tournament.
Springfield and Coast Guard met six times last year with the Bears winning both regular season meetings before the Pride beat the Bears twice to knock them out of the NEWMAC tournament. Coast Guard would return the favor by beating Springfield twice in the NCAA tournament.
Tomorrow’s game will be the fifth meeting between the two teams this season. They split in both the regular season and now the NEWMAC tournament.