CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Senior Talia Loda fired five no-hit innings and had a two-run double to highlight a four run first inning and fourth-seeded Springfield held off fifth-seeded Coast Guard 6-5 in the first game of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) softball championship at top-seeded MIT.
Coast Guard (21-12), making its first NEWMAC tournament appearance since 2012 when the Bears won the NEWMAC Championship for the third straight season, will now take on sixth-seeded Emerson in an elimination game at MIT on Friday morning at 10:00.
Loda (14-4) was perfect through three innings before walking sophomore Carly Hattman to lead off the fourth. That was her only walk of the game while the fanned five to pick up the win. She pitched the first four innings and the seventh for the Pride.
Sophomore Julia Ferris (10-10) allowed six runs, four earned, in three innings and took the loss. Freshman Sydney Arendt pitched the three scoreless innings in relief allowing just one hit.
The Pride (26-11) led 4-0 after one inning and added a pair of runs on a wild pitch and later an error to increase the lead to 6-0.
Loda was replaced by sophomore Marissa Valenti in the fifth and the Bears went to work as they loaded the bases when sophomore Kayla Sowers walked, junior Malia Hindle reached on an error before senior Casey Cruzpino broke up the no hitter and loaded the bases with a single up the middle.
Sophomore Claire Hurley walked with the bases loaded to get Coast Guard on the board and chase Valenti from the game as junior Shelby Allen came on in relief and issued a walk to Hattman making the score 6-2.
Sophomore Courtney McKenna's two-run single would cut the deficit to 6-4, but the Bears would leave runners on second and third.
Hurley drew a lead off walk before Sowers reached on an infield single forcing Springfield to once again go to the bullpen and this time bring back Loda.
Senior Emma Hvozdovich bunted them over before McKenna grounded out to short scoring a run, but the tying run was thrown out at the plate to end the game.