Bears Season Comes to a Close at Eastern Connecticut

MANSFIELD, Conn. – Sophomore Alyssa Hancock and junior Sam Rossetti combined for ten hits and seven RBI as the Eastern Connecticut State University softball team swept the Coast Guard softball team by scores of 6-5 and 12-1 in five innings Wednesday evening at the Eastern Softball Stadium.

A winner of 16 of its last 18, Eastern (23-11) scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning of the opener, walking off with the non-conference victory when senior No. 8 hitter Jen Tamindzija laced a 2-1 pitch  to left to drive in sophomore Alicia White from third and senior Megan Godwin from second for the two-out game-winning hit. A late-inning replacement behind the plate, White had singled with one out and Godwin moved her to second with a single. Freshman Samantha Bardos moved them both into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt.

Hancock paced a 13-hit attack in the nightcap with three RBI singles and Rentz drove in four runs with a pair of RBI doubles. White also collected two hits and two RBI and Godwin had two infield hits and drove in a run.

With 3 1/3 innings to her credit this season, junior Kelsey Gray made her second start of the season in the final game of the year for Coast Guard (14-20). Gray (0-1) pitched the first three innings, with first-game losing pitcher Sarah Sorensen, a sophomore, closing it out in the fourth.

Freshman Summer Cipriani pitched 2 1/3 innings of relief to earn her fourth win in six starts in the first game. Cipriani took over for sophomore starter Emily Komornik  while Coast Guard was scoring two runs in the fifth to move out to a 4-1 lead. The Warriors tied the game against Sorensen in the bottom of the fifth with three runs on three hits and an infield error. Hancock led off with her fourth home run of the season, Rentz doubled and senior Mattie Brett reached on an error and both came home on Rossetti's double.

The Bears scored twice in the first inning of the opener on a leadoff single by sophomore Morgan Kingston and three Eastern infield errors. After the Warriors got one back in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single by Brett, Coast Guard made it 4-1 when they chased Komornik with two more runs in the fifth on a single by freshman  cleanup hitter Cherokee Strickland and a two-strike double by senior Kaitlin Ward and an outfield fielding error.

Senior Stephanie Johnson, batting ninth for Eastern, extended her hitting streak to 12 with an infield single in the sixth inning of the first game and a bunt single in the third  inning of the nightcap.

Hancock was 6-for-8 with five runs scored, a double and home run on the day, and Rossetti was 4-for-5 with a walk, double and three RBI. White, Godwin and Rentz all contributed three hits, Rentz driving in four runs with three doubles and White plating two.

Ward had four of Coast Guard's 12 hits, junior Erin Lisko and Kingston both collecting three hits, two of which were doubles.

Seniors Kaitlin Ward and Kelly Grills were playing in the final games of their respective collegiate careers. Ward wraps up her career with 128 hits (including 28 doubles, 2 triples, and 9 home runs) for the Bears, good for 12th on the all-time list to go along with 80 runs scored (15th), and 79 RBI (t-10th) while fellow senior Kelly Grills finishes with 38 hits (including 5 doubles), 29 runs scored, and 12 RBI as the duo will leave with a mark of 102-60 in the four seasons at the Academy.

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