Nicole Black delivered a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the ninth as Coast Guard, ranked 22nd in the nation, won its first ever NEWMAC regular season title with a 5-4 win over Springfield in the opener before sophomore Amanda Frederick’s two-run homer in the first inning of game two was all the Bears would need to complete the sweep with a 5-1 win.
Coast Guard (32-2, 15-0) extends its school-record winning streak to 28 and won its school record 32nd game of the season. The Bears had won 31 games in 2004, when the team finished 31-14. The NEWMAC Tournament will begin on Wednesday with fourth-seeded Springfield taking on fifth-seeded Babson. The winner will play the top-seeded Bears. Coast Guard will host the rest of the tournament on Saturday and Sunday.
In the ninth inning of the opener, Black’s single scored freshman Jamie Kim, who had reached on an error. Senior Carin Sweeney had an RBI double, her second RBI hit of the game, earlier in the inning.
Springfield (14-20, 8-8) got on the board first in the opener as senior Shanda Kogut came across on junior Michelle Wlosek’s sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the fifth for a 1-0 lead.
Coast Guard, which had just one hit through the first four innings, responded quickly in the home half. The Bears tied the game on an RBI single by Sweeney which scored sophomore Becky Miller, who led off the inning with a walk. Senior Jeannie Crump delivered a two-run double later in the inning for a 3-1 lead.
The Pride tied it right away in the top of the sixth on a two-run double by Angela Atkins.
In the ninth, Atkins delivered yet another big hit, an RBI single to give Springfield a 4-3 lead before the Bears heroics in the home half of the inning.
Freshman Hayley Feindel went the distance for Coast Guard and allowed seven hits, three earned runs while walking four and striking out 12.
Rhodes was the tough luck loser for the Pride as she allowed just five hits, three earned runs while walking four and striking out a career-high 14 batters. She recorded the first six outs of the game by strikeout and allowed just a single to Black in the first four innings.
In game two, Feindel again went the distance scattering seven hits and allowing one unearned run while fanning five to improve to 26-1 on the season. She leads the nation with 26 wins and has won 21 straight decisions.
Frederick homered off Springfield freshman Megan Fitzgerald in the first after the Pride plated an unearned run in the top of the first. Rhodes took over in the second and went the rest of the way allowing five hits and three runs, one earned while striking out two.
Freshman Maddie Buchert and Sweeney each had a pair of hits for Coast Guard in game two while freshman Tess Gagliano had two hits for the Pride.