Softball swept at Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Mass.-Senior Holli Bastinck collected her 200th career hit in the first inning of the nightcap but it proved to be not quite enough as Springfield recorded a sweep in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference doubleheader today. Despite the losses, Coast Guard (18-13, 6-8 NEWMAC) remains alive in the hunt for a bid to next week's NEWMAC tournament while Springfield (20-16, 12-2) moves to two games up in the conference standings.

Game One: Springfield 8, Coast Guard 2

In the opener, Springfield jumped out to a comfortable 4-0 lead and cruised to an 8-2 decision with junior Jennifer Joseph earning the win in the circle for the Pride, moving her mark to 11-7 on the year after going five innings, striking out seven, while scattering four hits and allowing two runs.

For the Bears, Kristine Kahl took the loss to fall to 11-6 after surrendering eight runs (six earned) on 14 hits while striking out four. Five different members of the Bears' squad registered singles, including junior Kaitlin Ward who recorded an RBI.

Springfield jumped on the board in the first inning, with senior Kelly Blake singling to lead off the game, before stealing second and scoring on freshman Melissa Nelson's base knock. The Pride added three more runs in the second, collecting five hits in the frame. Blake drove in two runs with a single, while Nelson plated Blake on a base hit to left.

Senior Breann Joyce crushed a solo shot to lead of the third before Coast Guard got a pair of runs back in the top of the fourth. A leadoff walk to sophomore Jessie Richardson and freshman Morgan Kingston's single allowed a single to center by Ward to drive in a run. Senior Stacia Sarwinski then produced a sacrifice fly to left, accounting for the Bears other run.

Holding a three-run lead, Springfield put the game out of reach with three runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth. A leadoff single by Blake, followed by junior Christina Leader reaching on a two-base error, set up an RBI double by Nelson. Freshman Jenna Webb singled to drive in another run before Joyce reached on a fielder's choice, scoring Nelson.

Game Two: Springfield 7, Coast Guard 3

It was Coast Guard that seized an early lead in the nightcap, with Bastinck slapping a two-out single to left to score sophomore Erin Lisko, who had earlier cracked a double down the left field line. The hit was Bastinck's 200th in her Coast Guard career.

Springfield responded with two tallies of their own in the bottom half, all coming with two outs. With Nelson and Leader on second and third, Joyce came through with a two-run single to center.

The Pride added to its lead in the third, this time getting single by sophomore Caitie Holik to plate both Joyce and Webb. Three more runs crossed the plate in the fourth as Springfield scratched out four hits. Both Blake and Webb crushed doubles, and Leader and Joyce each registered run-scoring singles.

Coast Guard rallied with two runs in the sixth after Bastinck blasted a ball over the center field fence to make it a 7-3 contest. However, Springfield completed the sweep after posting a scoreless seventh inning.

Junior Ashley Marino tossed five innings of three-hit ball, giving up one-earned run while fanning five to earn the win. Sophomore Caisie Cadorette closed out the game, finishing the last two innings and was charged with two earned runs off four hits.

Bastinck had a great second contest, going a perfect 3-for-3 with three runs driven in, as she now has 202 career hits. Freshman Sammy Yuknat took the loss after allowing seven (earned) runs on nine hits in 3 1/3 innings work. Kahl finished the remaining 2 2/3 innings, giving up just two hits.

The Bears return to action on Saturday, April 20th when they host Wheaton in their regular season NEWMAC finale at 1:00. The most direct way for the Bears to clinch a spot in the post-season would be with a sweep but could also qualify with outside help.

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