Defensive mishaps cost Bears a sweep
NEW LONDON, Conn.-The Coast Guard softball team used timely hitting to pick up a victory in the opener but nine errors cost the Bears dearly in the nightcap as they received a split against Clark in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference double-header today. With the results Coast Guard is now 12-9 (4-4 NEWMAC) while Clark is 9-5 (4-2 NEWMAC).
Game One: Coast Guard 5, Clark 3
Freshman Kristine Kahl (7-4) worked seven strong innings, allowing just one earned run (three total) on five hits while walking two and striking out two as the Bears took the opener by a score of 5-3.
The Bears got on the board first by scoring three unearned runs off Clark senior Nicole Meuse. With senior Catherine Walker on first, senior Summer Dupler laid down a bunt but Clark third baseman Rachel Kraytenberg's errant throw down the right field line allowed Walker to score and Dupler to advance to third on the play. Two batters later, sophomore Jessie Richardson reached via a walk and, without stopping continued onto second causing some confusion amongst the Clark infielders and Dupler raced home with the game's second run. Freshman Morgan Kingston got the Bears' first hit of the inning, a two-out single to right to chase home Richardson from third.
Clark would get all three runs back in the top of the fifth as their 7-8-9 hitters notched consecutive one-out singles. The big blow in the inning came courtesy of a two-run single by freshman Alyssa Wright that turned a 3-1 Coast Guard lead into a 3-3 tie.
After surrendering the lead, the Bears would respond with a run of their own in the bottom half of the fifth. With Kingston on first, junior Kaitlin Ward launched a two-out triple to right center to give Coast Guard a 4-3 lead.
The Bears would add an insurance run in the sixth with a lead-off home run by freshman Hannah Ingerson.
Game Two: Clark 7, Coast Guard 5 (8 innings)
In the nightcap, six different Coast Guard players accounted for nine errors as they wasted a 4-0 lead en route to a 7-5 extra-inning defeat. Freshman Sammy Yuknat (5-5) was the tough-luck loser despite pitching very well. On the day Yuknat limited the Cougars to just one earned run on five hits, while striking out three without surrendering a walk in the complete-game effort.
For the second time in as many games, the Bears struck first as an RBI-single by senior Stacia Sarwinski scored Kingston from third base with two away in the second inning.
The Bears added another in the third, capitalizing on an error by Clark's junior second baseman Maya Allen that allowed junior Kelly Grills to reach. Grills would eventually come in to score on a base hit through the left side by Richardson.
Two more runs would be added in the fourth to extend the Coast Guard lead to 4-0. Ward reached on a single to short before the ball was thrown away allowing Kingston to score all the way from first on the play. Grills would come up big again with another two-out hit – this time a double – to plate Ward.
The Cougars would get all four runs back in the top of the fifth courtesy of five Coast Guard errors and just three hits. The inning started on a sour note as leadoff batter, freshman Marisa Linehan's line drive to Dupler caromed off her glove for a two base error. It was all a downhill spiral from there as Dupler made another error (this time throwing) on the next at-bat. Sarwinski, Ward, and senior Holli Bastinck each made errors in the nightmare inning as well.
No more runs would be scored until the eighth inning. Allen was placed on second – per the International Tie Breaker rule – before errors to the first two batters of the inning loaded the bases for Clark. The errors would come back to haunt the Bears immediately as junior Tatiana Chunis stroked a two-run single to left to give Clark their first lead of the day. The Cougars would tack on another in the inning, this time on a wild pitch to Linehan with two away which would allow Wright to score.
The Bears would get one back in the bottom half as Kingston hit a sac fly to center to chase in Richardson but that would be all they would get in the inning and Clark would survive for their fourth NEWMAC win.
Kingston finished the game with a pair of stolen bases, and had three runs scored and three driven in on a three-for-six day.
The Bears return to action on Wednesday, April 10th with a 3:00 pm non-conference double-header at home against Western New England.
Post-game comments with Head Coach Donna Koczajowski