WORCESTER, Mass.-Clark University tallied 23 hits to claim a sweep of the Coast Guard softball team in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference double-header on Saturday afternoon. Coast Guard now stands at 10-16 (3-9 NEWMAC) on the season while Clark finds itself with a record of 9-15 (4-8 NEWMAC).
Game One: Clark 4, Coast Guard 2
Catcher Jessie Richardson was 3-for-4 at the plate but it wasn't enough as Coast Guard fell to Clark by a count of 4-2 in the opener, despite out-hitting the home standing Cougars by a count of 9-8.
Coast Guard opened the scoring in the top of the third as shortstop Morgan Kingston (2-4, run) lined a single to left to lead off the inning, stole second, and came in to score a single to center by Richardson (3-4, RBI).
Clark would get that run back in the bottom of the inning. Left fielder Melanie Dusseault (1-3, 2 runs) led off the inning with a single to short but after a pair of quick outs it appeared the Bears would escape the inning with the lead. A fielding error, however, extended the inning and a walk loaded the bases for second baseman Rachel Kraytenberg (1-3, RBI) who singled to drive in Dusseault with the game-tying run.
An inning later the Cougars would hang a three-spot on the scoreboard courtesy of three hits, a hit batter, and a wild pitch. With two on and two out, center fielder Corrie Derosier (1-4, 2 RBI) tripled to right-center to make the score 3-1 before shortstop Alyssa Wright (2-3, RBI) would follow that up with a single to the pitcher to extend the Clark lead to 4-1.
That would be as close as the Bears would get though as their seventh inning rally fell short. Kingston led off the inning with a double to left and would advance to third on a sac bunt by second baseman Erin Lisko (0-3) before being thrown out at the plate on Richardson's ground ball to short.
Sophomore starter Kristine Kahl (6-6) took the loss for Coast Guard, surrendering four runs – three earned – on seven hits in four innings of work. Starter Hayley Buckheit (4-7) earned the victory for Clark, yielding two runs on nine hits while going the distance. Sarah Sorensen worked a pair of scoreless innings in relief allowing just one hit.
Game Two: Clark 6, Coast Guard 4
Coast Guard built a 3-0 lead after two innings and appeared on their way to salvaging a split on the afternoon but crooked numbers in both the third and fourth innings of the nightcap allowed Clark to claim a NEWMAC sweep of Coast Guard for the first time since the 2008 season.
Coast Guard started the scoring in the top of the opening inning with some solid, fundamental A-B-C ball. Shortstop Morgan Kingston (2-4, RBI, run) led off the game with a single to left, was moved to second on a sac bunt by double play partner Erin Lisko (0-3) and scored on catcher Jessie Richardson's (1-3, RBI) double to left field.
Despite two quick outs to begin the second inning, Coast Guard would tack onto their lead, scoring a pair of runs with two outs. Right fielder Kelsey Gray (1-3, run) doubled to left to get the rally going before coming in to score on first baseman Kelly Grills' (1-3, RBI, run) single to center. Grills advanced to second on the throw to the plate and came around to score when Kingston, as the next batter, singled to center.
Clark would get back into the game in the bottom of the third, scoring a pair of unearned runs on a sac fly by right fielder Lauren Mackey (3-3, RBI, run) and a ground out by third baseman Rachel Kraytenberg (1-3, 2 RBI) to cut the Coast Guard lead to just one at 3-2.
An inning later Clark would grab their first lead of the contest as doubles down the right field line by both second baseman Maya Allen (2-4, RBI, run) and shortstop Alyssa Wright (3-4, RBI, run) drove in runs. Two batters later Kraytenberg would single through the right side to drive in her second run of the game and give the Cougars some much-needed insurance.
Needing a shutdown inning in the bottom half of the sixth the Bears were unable to deliver as Clark got back the run they surrendered in the top half on a sac fly by first baseman Tatiana Chunis (1-3, RBI). The Cougars would hang on from there, getting Coast Guard to go down in order in the seventh.
Reliever Kristine Kahl (6-7), working just 1/3 of an inning, was dealt the loss for the Bears after allowing three runs (all earned) on five hits and a walk. Starter Melanie Dusseault (5-8) went the distance to pick up the win for Clark allowing four runs on eight hits. Sarah Sorensen pitched effectively as she went 5.2 innings for the Bears, allowing just one earned run (three in total) on 10 hits while recording four punch outs.
With her 4-for-7 day at the dish, Jessie Richardson improved her NEWMAC-leading batting average to .547 on the year.
Coast Guard will play next on Monday, April 14th when they host Springfield College in a NEWMAC double-header at 3:00 pm at Nitchman Field.