Bears Swept by #21 Wheaton, 12-3 & 6-5

NORTON, Mass. The Wheaton College softball team, ranked No. 21 in the latest National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Top 25 poll, claimed a pair of victories over Coast Guard on Friday evening at Clark Field. The Lyons took game one by a 12-3 score in five innings and held on in the nightcap for a 6-5 triumph.

Game One: Wheaton 12, Coast Guard 3 (5 innings)

Lyon's senior Allison Baker (Orange, Conn./Amity Regional) went four innings, allowed three hits, two runs (both earned), zero walks and struck out a game-high five batters to improve to 10-2 on the season. Sophomore Jillian Rocha (Rehoboth, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth) closed out the final inning on two hits, one run (earned) and one walk.

Coast Guard sophomore Sarah Sorensen (Lakewood, Wash.) took the loss on 2/3 of an inning, eight hits, eight runs (all earned) and one strikeout.

Wheaton jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first inning as senior Jenna Rocha (Rehoboth, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth) got the rally started with a two-run double to right-center. Sophomore Emily Berardi (Boston, Mass./Boston Latin) followed with an RBI single up the middle and classmate Madeline Hatch (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxboro) smacked a two-run base hit through the right side for a 5-0 advantage.

Senior third baseman Ashley Brillon (Attleboro, Mass./Bishop Feehan) punctuated the eight-run first inning by launching a three-run homer over the left-center field fence, her first career round-tripper.

The Bears scored solo runs in the second, fourth and fifth highlighted by a run-producing double to deep center off the bat of junior Jessie Richardson (Kent, Wash.) in the fourth.

Wheaton received an RBI single to center from sophomore Kelly Welch (Wood Dale, Ill./Fenton) in the second and three runs in the fourth which included freshman Caroline Fairbanks' (Milford, Mass./Milford) NEWMAC-leading sixth home run of the season.

Game Two: Wheaton 6, Coast Guard 5

Berardi collected her fifth of the year going four innings, while allowing two hits, two runs (both unearned), three walks and one strikeout. Freshman Danielle Cimino (Cumberland, Maine/Greely) picked up her first career save completing the final three innings. During that span, Cimino yielded six hits, three runs (all earned) and one walk.

Kristine Kahl (Monmouth, Maine) suffered the loss on six innings pitched, nine hits, six runs (five earned) and one free pass.

After a mercy rule loss in game one, Coast Guard responded in the top of the first inning with a pair of runs as freshman Cherokee Strickland (Vancleave, Miss.) had an RBI single up the middle and junior Natalie Spadafora (Kent, Wash.) worked a bases loaded walk.

The Blue and White answered in the bottom half of the frame with five runs on five hits, one error and one runner left on base. Fairbanks evened the score with a double to right-center, while sophomore Marissa Timoteo (Jupiter, Fla./Jupiter) connected for a two-run double to center and freshman Morgan Walsh (Norwell, Mass./Norwell) scratched across a run with a fielder's choice RBI.

Sophomore Emma Hart (Lincoln, R.I./Lincoln) gave Wheaton an all-important insurance run in the second with an RBI double to left field which she tried to stretch into a triple but was thrown out at the bag by Bears' centerfielder Kaitlin Ward (Saline, Mich.).

Coast Guard trimmed away at the deficit scoring one run in the sixth on a Spadafora RBI single up the middle to make it a 6-3 contest. 

In the seventh, Richardson flared a single to left field scoring freshman Sara Cammuso (Millbury, Mass.) for a 6-4 margin and classmate Erin Reynolds (Valrico, Fla.) drove in another run with a ground out at first to put the guests within one run. Cimino ended the Bears' rally with two outs and the game-tying run 90-feet away with a ground ball to second that sophomore Erin Deneen (Framingham, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury) handled easily for the final out.

Brillon finished the doubleheader going 4-for-7 with four runs scored, two doubles, one homer and three RBI, while Berardi, Timoteo, Fairbanks and Hart all had three hits apiece for the Lyons.

With her base hit in the third inning of game two, junior Erin Lisko became the 28th Coast Guard softball player to reach that milestone.

Coast Guard (7-11, 0-4 NEWMAC) visits Babson College tomorrow for a NEWMAC clash at 12 p.m. while Wheaton (23-3, 7-1 NEWMAC) travels to Clark University tomorrow for a conference doubleheader at 12 p.m.

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