New London, Conn. - April 25, 2011 - Led by pitcher Hayley Feindel, the Coast Guard softball team defeated Springfield College twice to win the 2011 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Softball Championship on Monday afternoon. The Bears won the first game, 1-0, before posting a 4-0 win in the title game.
Springfield, which needed to win one of the two games to clinch the title, drops to 24-15 on the season. Coast Guard, which won three games on Monday, improves to 35-2 on the year. The Bears two losses this season both came against Springfield.
In the two contests, Feindel was dominant as she combined for 24 strikeouts while giving up just three hits.
The Pride will return to action on Wednesday afternoon when it hosts local-foe Westfield State starting at 3:30 pm.
Game 1 -- Coast Guard 1, Springfield 0
Both games featured Feindel, a junior, for Coast Guard versus freshman Ashley Marino (Harrison, N.Y.) of Springfield, a pair of righthanders who are likely considered the top two pitchers in the NEWMAC. Feindel's ERA entering this contest was 0.47. Marino's was 2.21 -- first and second best in the league.
The only run of the game was scored in the bottom of the first. Shortstop Devin Fellman walked to lead off the inning. First baseman Maddie Buchert was then hit by a pitch. After one out was recorded on a pop-out, third baseman Holli Bastinck hit a fly ball to center, advancing Fellman to third. Marino appeared to escape any damage when designated player Catherine Walker hit a pop-up straight up the shoot. But the ball dropped about four feet in front of home plate for an error, the run scoring.
Feindel took over from there. Freshman Christina Leader singled up the middle in the third inning for what proved to be SC's only hit. Feindel then retired the last 13 batters she faced. Feindel gave up the one hit, struck out 11, and walked none.
Meanwhile, Marino struck out three and walked one, while giving up only three hits and one unearned run.
Game 2 -- Coast Guard 4, Springfield 0
In the second game of the day, the pitching match-up was the same. It was Feindel's third contest of the day, as Coast Guard had beaten Babson, 8-0 in five innings to start the day's proceedings.
In the bottom of the first, Fellman singled to lead it off. That was followed by a sacrifice bunt and a fielder's choice, leaving a runner at first with two outs. Bastinck then blasted a home run to left field, giving the Bears a quick 2-0 advantage.
Feindel then began to do her thing. She had a perfect game through six innings.
In the bottom of the sixth, after Buchert walked, catcher Amanda Frederick homered to right center field for two more runs. That finished Marino, who pitched heroically on the day. Marino pitched five-plus innings, giving up four runs, all earned, five hits, walking two, and striking out two. Freshman rightfielder Jen Joseph came on to get the last three outs, giving up one hit in the process.
All that was left in the seventh was to see if Feindel could complete the perfect game. But after getting the first out on a fly to left, Feindel gave up a clean single by freshman centerfielder Ally Rivelli up the middle. On the very next pitch, sophomore shortstop Kelly Blake singled past short to put runners on first and second. The last two batters, however, struck out swinging.
Feindel gave up only the two hits in the seventh, while striking out 13, and walking none. Feindel raised her record to 34-2 on the season. She finished 3-2 versus Springfield.
Overall, Coast Guard upped its record to 35-2 and will next play in the NCAA Division III Tournament, which begins May 12. Now 24-15, Springfield hosts Westfield State next at home on Wednesday, April 27 at 3:30 pm at Potter Field.