NEW LONDON, Conn.--(5/7/12)--After winning five straight elimination games including three on the final day of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) tournament for the second straight season, Coast Guard, the three-time defending NEWMAC tournament champions were awarded the fifth-seed in the Mansfield Regional and will take on fourth-seeded Ithaca, the Empire 8 regular season and tournament champion, on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Softball Championship at Eastern Connecticut State University.
MANSFIELD REGIONAL WEBSITE
The Bears (26-17), who were the sixth and lowest seed in the NEWMAC tournament, become the first sixth seed to ever win the NEWMAC tournament title and make their fourth straight NCAA tournament appearance and fourth overall. Coast Guard advanced to the regional championship game in 2010 and 2011.
Ithaca (30-12) is making its 25th overall appearance in the NCAA Division III championship tournament, which is the most tournament appearances in NCAA history. The last 20 have come under coach Deb Pallozzi. The Bombers have made 11 appearances in the College World Series, winning their first national title in 2002. Ithaca has also won regional titles in 1983 and 1996 as well as eight of the past 13 years.
Eastern Connecticut, the Little East regular season and tournament champion ranked second nationally, is the top-seed and host. Tufts, ranked ninth nationally, is the second seed while Rochester (3rd), St. John Fisher (6th), Salem State (7th) and Lesley (8th) round out the eight-team regional.
The Bears are led by senior All-American Hayley Feindel, who became the NCAA Division III all-time leader in wins on Saturday with 122. Feindel is now the NCAA Division III all-time leader in strikeouts (1,431), innings pitched (1,000.7), games (156), games started (152), complete games (136) and she is second all-time with 61 shutouts. Feindel has a career record of 122-28 with nine no-hitters and a pair of perfect games.
Feindel, missed 16 games this season with a broken finger, but pitched through the pain to lead the Bears to the NEWMAC championship once again. She led the NEWMAC in wins (19) and strikeouts (225) this season. She has a record of 19-8 with a 1.81 ERA and eight shutouts this season. Feindel has walked just 30 batters and struck out 225 this year.
The Bears, who hit .362 as a team in the NEWMAC tournament and outscored its opponents 48-25 in the seven games, are led by junior designated player Holli Bastinck and freshman catcher Jesse Richardson.
Bastinck led the NEWMAC with a .465 batting average and leads the Bears with nine homers, 49 RBI's and a .708 slugging percentage. Bastinck was red hot during the NEWMAC tournament hitting .565 with four homers and 14 RBI's in the seven games. She was 4 for 4 with a three-run homer in first inning of the 5-2 win over Babson to win the championship.
Richardson has had an outstanding freshman season having to replace All-American Amanda Frederick behind the plate. She is hitting .451 with ten doubles, three homers and 26 RBI's while scoring a single-season school record 45 runs.
Freshman left fielder Chloe Harmon (.336), who has five homers and 31 RBI's this season has been swinging a hot bat of late. She has a 10-game hitting streak and hit .458 with two homers and 11 RBI's in the NEWMAC tournament.
Six teams will compete at one regional site, seven teams will compete at one regional site and eight teams will compete at six regional sites. The eight regional sites will use a double-elimination format.
The six-team and seven-team regional rounds will be held May 11-14, and the eight-team regional rounds will be held May 10-14. The finals, hosted by the City of Salem and the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, will be held May 18-22 at the Moyer Complex in Salem, Va.
Forty-one conferences received automatic qualification (Pool A). Two schools were selected from Pool B, which includes independent schools and schools from conferences that do not meet the automatic qualification criteria. The 18 remaining teams were selected on an at-large basis from automatic qualifying conferences and the remaining schools in Pool B.
In 2011, Linfield defeated Christopher Newport to capture its second championship in five years. Linfield finished with 51 wins and only three losses, setting a Division III record for victories in a season.
2012 NCAA Division III Softball Mansfield Regional
@ Eastern Connecticut State University, Mansfield, Conn.
Thursday, May 10th
Game 1--#1 Eastern Connecticut vs. #8 Lesley, 11:00
Game 2--#4 Ithaca vs. #5 Coast Guard, 1:30
Game 3--#3 Rochester vs. #6 St. John Fisher, 4:00
Game 4--#2 Tufts vs. #7 Salem State, 6:30
Friday, May 11th
Game 5--Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 11:00
Game 6--Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 1:30
Game 7--Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 4:00
Game 8--Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, 6:30
Saturday, May 12th
Game 9--Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 7, 11:00
Game 10-Winner Game 5 vs. Loser Game 8, 1:30
Game 11--Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8, 4:00
Game 12--Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10, 6:30
Sunday, May 13th
Game 13--Winner Game 12 vs. Loser Game 11, noon
Game 14--Winner Game 11 vs. Winner Game 13, 2:30
Monday, May 14th
Game 15 (if necessary)-- rematch of Game 14, noon
May 20, 2012 Feindel Featured on WFSB 3 Sports
May 18, 2012 Bastinck Named NFCA First Team All-American
May 15, 2012 Coast Guard Retires Feindel's #16
May 14, 2012 Trio Named to All-Region Teams
May 13, 2012 Another Drama Filled Ending for Coast Guard
May 12, 2012 Bears Fall to Losers' Bracket
May 11, 2012 Bears Knock off #2 ECSU; Snap 40-Game Win Streak
May 10, 2012 Lisko Liner Lifts Bears to NCAA Win
May 7, 2012 Bears are #5 Seed in Mansfield Regional
May 5, 2012 Bears Win Three to Capture NEWMAC Championship
April 28, 2012 Late Inning Magic Keeps Bears Alive
April 28, 2012 Bears Remain Alive with Shutout Win
April 24, 2012 Bears Split in NEWMAC Tournament
April 21, 2012 Bears Swept in Regular Season Finale
April 20, 2012 Bears Sweep Springfield; Clinch Tourney Spot
April 17, 2012 #3 Eastern Conn. Sweeps Bears
April 14, 2012 Richardson Goes 6 for 6 as Bears Sweep MIT
April 13, 2012 Wellesley Sweeps Bears
April 9, 2012 Feindel Named NEWMAC Pitcher of the Week
April 6, 2012 Feindel Returns and Sets DIII Innings Record in Sweep
April 4, 2012 Bears Make Seven Errors in Loss
March 31, 2012 WPI Sweeps Bears
March 30, 2012 Bears Sweep Smith
March 27, 2012 Bears Beat Trinity 8-4
March 24, 2012 Bears Drop Pair at Wheaton
March 20, 2012 Walker Wins Twice as #17 Bears Sweep
March 18, 2012 Bears Settle for Split With Manhattanville
March 17, 2012 #17 Bears Rally for Sweep of Castleton
March 10, 2012 Bears Split to Close out Southern Trip
March 9, 2012 Bears Split at Rebel Games
March 7, 2012 #10 Bears Swept at Rebel Games
March 5, 2012 Feindel Fires No-Hitter; Bears Sweep