Springfield, Mass. -- May 5, 2012 -- The U.S. Coast Guard Academy won three games this afternoon to capture their third consecutive New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference Softball Tournament at Springfield College's Potter Field. The Bears defeated Springfield once and Babson twice to earn the crown.
Senior pitcher Hayley Feindel of the 6th-seeded USCGA Bears was named the tournament MVP for hurling every pitch of the tournament for the Bears, and also for becoming the all-time NCAA leader in victories with 122. Her record this season jumped to 19-8.
Coast Guard first defeated #1-seeded Springfield, 8-5 in eight innings, after trailing 4-2 entering the seventh inning. The Bears then defeated #2-seeded Babson, 11-0 in five innings, and 5-2. Thus, Coast Guard earns the conference's automatic NCAA Tournament berth.
Coast Guard thus raises its record to 26-17. Babson ends its season at 25-18, Springfield ends its season at 25-16-1.
NEWMAC Semifinal -- Coast Guard 8, Springfield 5 (8 innings)
In the first game of the day, sixth-seeded Coast Guard and top-seeded Springfield were facing each other in an elimination game. The winner would take on #2-seeded Babson, but would need to defeat the Beavers twice in order to win the tournament.
This contest featured the top two pitchers in the conference -- SC's Ashley Marino and CGA's Hayley Feindel.
Springfield jumped out front by scoring three runs in the bottom of the third inning. Tess Gagliano led with a home run, her third of the season, to left field. After two were out, Ally Rivelli walked, followed by a single by Kasey Kelly. Then Kelly Blake knocked in a run with a single to left field. Eventually, Kelly scored on a wild pitch.
Coast Guard immediately countered with two in the top of the fourth. Jesse Richardson singled. That was followed by a two-run blast by Holli Bastinck over the left field fence.
The Pride scored one in the fourth. Rivelli knocked in Gagliano with a base hit, making it 4-2.
It stayed that way until the top of the seventh. After the first batter was retired on a ground out, Erin Lisko singled to left. Devin Fellman then doubled in Lisko all the way from first, making it 4-3. Moments later, Maddie Buchert singled, scoring Fellman and tying it up.
In the CGA eighth inning, the Bears broke it open. Kailin Ward was placed on second due to the international tie-breaking rule. SC looked like it might get out of it after a sacrifice bunt and a pop up to shortstop. But Jamie Kim laced a sharp single to center, and Coast Guard took the lead for the first time in the game. Fellman then lashed a long home run, giving the Bears an 8-4 advantage.
In the last of the eighth, Chelsea Bender knocked in a run to cut it to 8-5. But Feindel struck out the game's last two batters, and the Bears moved on.
Both pitchers went the distance. In eight innngs, Marino gave up 12 hits, while walking two and striking out four. Feindel gave up seven hits, while walking three and striking out 11. Marino finished 13-9. Feindel improved to 17-8 on the season, and won her 120th career contest, tying the NCAA Division III record for most wins.
NEWMAC Championship Series Game #1 -- Coast Guard 11, Babson 0 (5 innings.)
In the second game of the day, and the first championship series contest, Coast Guard immediately took right up where it had left off against the Pride, scoring two runs in the second, five in the third, and four in the fourth. The net result was an 11-0 win in five innings.
Feindel gave up only three hits, while striking out six and walking none. The loser was starting pitcher Megan Brain, who gave up four runs and five hits in two innings. Brain finished at 4-7.
Kim had the big hit in the second inning, a two-out two-run double.
In the third, Ward had another two-run double. The next two batters -- Chloe Harmon and Kim -- produced RBI ground outs, making it 6-0. Lisko then singled in Ward, and the lead grew to 7-0.
In the CGA fourth, Richardson doubled to left, and Bastinck walked. Ward singled to center, making it 8-0. Harmon followed with a three-run home run, and it was an 11-0 final.
Feindel thus broke the NCAA Division III pitching record with her 121st victory.
Buchert and Ward had three hits apiece, while Harmon knocked in four, and Ward and Kim each knocked in three.
NEWMAC Championship Series Game #2 -- Coast Guard 5, Babson 2
In the final game of the day, Bastinck went 4-for-4 and socked in three runs.Fellman also had two hits for the Bears, which had 11 in the game. All told, CGA had 37 hits on the afternoon.
Once again, Coast Guard started out fast, scoring four runs in the top of the first inning. The Bears would add one in the sixth. Babson tallied singletons in the first and the third.
For the Bears, after a single, a sacrifice, and a walk, it was Bastinck powering a three-run home run to left field. One out later, Harmon did likewise.
In the bottom of the first, Jackie Enos led off with a single, and Catie Funk walked. Nicole Latini then had an RBI-single to left, cutting the margin to 4-1.
In the third, Latini doubled to left field, then Kelly King singled past the shortstop to close the gap to 4-2.
In the sixth, an RBI-single by Fellman ended the scoring for the Bears.
For Babson, Tess Rubega hurled the distance, finishing with a 10-5 record. She gave up four earned runs on 11 hits, walking two and striking out two.
Feindel gave up 10 hits, walking two and striking out two. She improved to 19-8, and earned her 122nd career victory.