#3 Eastern Conn. Sweeps Bears

WILLIMANTIC, CONN.--(4/17/12)--National earned run average leader Molly Rathbun struck out 14 in eight scoreless innings and junior third baseman Arielle Cooper broke the program record for consecutive games with a hit as the Eastern Connecticut, ranked third nationally, extended its winning streak to 26 with 7-0, 5-4 wins over Coast Guard.

The Bears had thoughts of an upset in the night cap leading 4-1 in the fourth before the Warriors scored one in the fourth and four times in the fifth.

Rathbun (17-1) won her 16th straight decision with a complete-game two-hitter in the opener for her 42nd career shutout, then fanned two in a scoreless seventh in the nightcap for her fourth save.

Cooper tied current assistant coach Tammy Schondelmayer's program record for consecutive games with a hit with a second-inning single in the opener and broke the record by tripling in the first inning of the nightcap – her 19th straight game with a hit. In those 19 games, Cooper is batting (.476) with five home runs and 53 total bases. Twelve times in 19 games she had exactly one hit.

Cooper, Rathbun, sophomore Mattie Brett, and freshman Shannon Martin all had three of Eastern's (27-1) two-game total of 20 hits. Cooper, Martin, sophomore Megan Godwin and freshman Sam Rossetti (Shelton) each drove in two runs.

Eastern scored five runs in the first two innings of the opener, with Alicea, Martin (2) and Godwin all driving in runs. Rossetti plated also plated a pair in the fourth with a single.

In the second game, Coast Guard (18-14) first-game loser Catherine Walker pitched three scoreless innings and the Bears led 4-1 before the Warriors scored once in the fourth and four in the fifth on five hits and two errors to go ahead. Cooper plated the first two win a single, sophomore Jen Tamindzija tied the game with a sacrifice fly, and Godwin delivered the game-winning hit with a two-out RBI single.

Junior Christine Akcer allowed one run on four hits in relief of junior starter Kassondra Silva to record her first win in her first decision this year. Akcer fanned three without a walk.

Sophomore Kaitlin Ward had three of Coast Guard's nine hits in the opener. Ward and freshman Kelsey Gray each drove in two runs.

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