Bears Season Ends With Extra Inning Loss
SPRINGFIELD, Mass.--Christa Shorette ripped a one-out single into left field to score pinch-runner Meghan Hayes from third in the bottom of the eighth to lift third-seeded Babson to a thrilling 6-5 extra inning win over sixth-seeded Coast Guard in the losers bracket final of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Softball Championship.
Coast Guard, the three-time defending NEWMAC tournament champions, finished the season 22-17 after its great run in tournament as the sixth-seed making the program's first ever appearance in the winners bracket final on Saturday. The Bears became the first ever sixth seed to win the NEWMAC tournament last season.
Babson's Kathleen Conway earned the win to improve to 20-5 on the year. Going 7.2 innings in the circle, Conway struck out eight and allowed five runs, four earned, off seven hits. Jackie Enos went 3-for-4 at the top of order for the Beavers, while Catie Funk added a 2-for-3 performance with two RBI.
Jessie Richardson led the Bears offense with two hits. In the circle, Kristine Kahl (15-8) took the loss despite a strong effort in which she scattered 12 hits, giving up six runs, five earned, while fanning three.
The Beavers struck first with single runs in the second and third thanks to an RBI single by Conway and sac fly by Funk.
However, the Coast Guard bats came alive in the fifth as they batted around and had five of their seven hits in the contest to plate five runs, opening up a 5-2 lead and chased Conway from the game.
Hannah Ingerson roped a run-scoring double before Richardson tied the game with an RBI single. Morgan Kingston gave Coast Guard the lead with a key two-out, two-run single before Holli Bastinck's RBI single gave the Bears a 5-2 lead. Tess Rubega came on in relief and got the final out of the inning for the Beavers.
Babson answered right back in the bottom half of the frame with three runs of their own to tie the game 5-5. The Beavers strung together three singles, with Ashleigh Phelps single to left field plating Funk for the game-tying run.
Conway re-entered on the mound for Babson to start the top of the sixth and she would retire the final nine hitters of the game in order.
The Beavers threatened in the bottom of the seventh, with runners on second and third, but Kahl pitched out of the jam to force extra innings.
In the top of the eighth, Kingston was placed on second as part of the international tiebreaker. Bastinck bunted her to third, but a pair of strikeouts ended the threat.
Hayes was sacrificed over to third by Conway in the bottom of the eighth to put game-winning run just 60 feet away setting up Shorette's liner to left field.
"We fought tooth and nail, it was a great effort," said Coast Guard head coach Donna Koczajowski. "I'm very pleased and proud of how we came together throughout the season."
Co-captain Stacia Sarwinski, Summer Dupler, Catherine Walker and Bastinck played in the final game of their careers on Sunday. This senior class won 122 games, won three NEWMAC tournament championships making three straight NCAA tournament appearances over the past four years.
Bastinck finished her career with 209 hits, second all-time at the Academy to go with 18 homers and 131 RBI's which are both third best at Coast Guard. Sarwinski hit ten career homers, which rank her eighth on the Bears' all-time list.