Bears finish strong, head back north at .500
KISSIMMEE, Fla.-The Coast Guard softball team finished up their southern swing with a pair of victories today at the Rebel Spring Games to even their record at 5-5 on the season. In the opener the Bears picked up a 4-3 decision over Anderson (Ind.) (0-1) and in the nightcap the scored a 5-4 extra inning, walk-off victory over Rowan (5-3).
Game One: Coast Guard 4, Anderson (Ind.) 3
In the opener against Anderson (Ind.), Coast Guard jumped out to a 4-0 lead, backed by a three-run first, before tacking on another in the top of the second. Freshman Hannah Ingerson's three-run home run, her first at the Academy, was the big blow in the top of the first. In the second, Senior Catherine Walker had a double to move put herself scoring position for an insurance run. Sophomore Erin Lisko singled home Walker to extend the Coast Guard lead.
After allowing a run in the bottom of the second and two more in the sixth, the Bears hung on for the 4-3 victory, which was picked up by freshman Sammy Yuknat who improves to 2-2 on the year.
Game Two: Coast Guard 5, Rowan 4
The Bears walked off against Rowan, the number 20 team in the latest NFCA Division III Poll. In the bottom of the eighth, as a result of the International Tiebreaker Rule, Ingerson was placed on second base. She was bunted over by junior Kaitlin Ward. Rowan responded by issuing intentional walks to the two subsequent batters to set up force plays all around the diamond. The strategy paid immediate dividends as Walker grounded into a fielder's choice which resulted in Ingerson being forced out at the plate. Sophomore Natalie Spadafora followed that up with a hard shot to third that the Rowan third baseman couldn't come up with and junior Kelly Grills, brought on to pinch-run, sprinted home with the game-ending run.
The Bears started the scoring early, sprinting out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first by virtue of four singles and two Rowan errors. Sophomores Kelsey Gray and Jessie Richardson each recorded two hits in the night cap, with Richardson contributing two runs batted in, in the victory. Freshman Kristine Kahl picked up the victory for Coast Guard in the night cap to move her won-loss record to 3-3 on the year.
Coast Guard Head Coach Donna Koczajowski was very pleased with the effort of the team and the way they finished the week."It was a great way to end the week down in Florida," she started. "We rebounded from a mid-week swoon and it was great to see the team mature in all facets of the game the past two days. Our freshman pitchers have progressed quickly, our defense improved, and the offense is coming around as well. We hope to keep moving forward as we continue the season in New England and begin conference play next weekend," she finished optimistically.
The Bears return to action on Wednesday, March 20th, with a double-header at Roger Williams (1-9) scheduled to begin at 3:00pm. It will be the first of eight straight road games for Coast Guard before their home opener on March 30th against Wellesley.