Bears Drop a Pair of Heartbreakers

BRISTOL, R.I.-Nine Coast Guard hitters registered at least one hit on the day but it wasn't enough as the Bears dropped a pair of one-run games to 2013 NCAA Regional Tournament qualifier Roger Williams on Thursday. In their final tune-up before conference play begins Coast Guard (6-6) fell 5-4 in eight innings in the opener before dropping a 4-3 decision in the nightcap to the Hawks (5-5).

Game One: Roger Williams 5, Coast Guard 4 (8 innings)

Sophomore hurler Kristine Kahl (3-2) continued her strong work in the circle, logging a complete game while only giving up one earned run but it wasn't enough as Coast Guard dropped the opener of the twin-bill 5-4 in eight innings.

Freshman third baseman Cherokee Strickland (3-4, 3 RBI, run) and freshman left fielder Erin Reynolds (3-4, RBI) led the Bears' nine-hit attack and drove in all four runs in the game. Strickland opened the scoring in the top of the third when she singled to center field to score junior second baseman Erin Lisko (run) and senior first baseman Kelly Grills (2-3, run) to give Coast Guard an early 2-0 advantage. Reynolds followed that up with a run-scoring double to left center to drive in Strickland for a 3-0 Bears lead.

Roger Williams would get a run back in the bottom of the inning when Chelsea Boulrisse (2-5, 2 RBI) plated Caitlin Downes (2-3, two runs) for one of Roger Williams' four unearned runs – on three Coast Guard errors – in the game.

Coast Guard would get that run back in the top of the fifth when Strickland singled in junior catcher Jessie Richardson (run) and give the Bears a 4-1 lead. The Hawks would make a game of it in the bottom half when Delaney Burns' (1-3, 2 RBI) single to right field scored Meredith Moise (run) and Veronica Alicea (run).

Roger Williams would eventually tie the game up in the bottom of the sixth when Samantha Mittel (2-4, RBI) singled to right field to drive in Alicia McCauley (run) with the fourth run of the game and knot things up at 4-4, ultimately forcing extra innings.

Boulrisse delivered the game-winner with one out in the eighth by singling to center to score Downes who had been placed on second to begin the inning per the International Tie-Breaker Rule.

Meghan Maliga (3-2) went the distance to pick up the win for Roger Williams, yielding four runs – three earned – on nine hits and a walk while striking out five.

Game Two: Roger Williams 4, Coast Guard 3

In the night-cap, Coast Guard again jumped out to an early lead but was unable to hold on as the Bears dropped their third straight game, a 4-3 decision to Roger Williams. All nine Coast Guard position players registered a hit in the game with two recording multi-hit games.

Erin Reynolds (2-4, 2 RBI) delivered a double to left to score Cherokee Strickland (1-3, run) and Jessie Richardson (2-4, RBI, run) to give the Bears a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Roger Williams would get both runs back in the bottom of the inning starting with an RBI-single through the left side by Samantha Mittel (2-3, RBI, run) to score Taylor Messier (3-4, 2 RBI, run), cutting the Bears' lead in half at 2-1. Two batters later Alana Peoples (1-3) reached on a throwing error that allowed Mittel to score an unearned run.

In the top of the fourth inning Richardson – the leading hitter in the NEWMAC at .590 – singled up the middle to plate sophomore shortstop Morgan Kingston (1-4, run) with the go-ahead run making it 3-2 in favor of the Bears.

The lead would be short-lived as the Hawks got a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 4-3 advantage, a lead they would hold onto. Messier singled up the middle to score Downes and Tori Milano (run) for the game-tying and eventual game-winning runs, respectively.

Coast Guard would manage just two base-runners the rest of the way and Roger Williams would hold on for the victory.

Sophomore right-hander Sarah Sorensen (3-4) logged a complete game for Coast Guard, allowing four runs – three earned – on nine hits and a trio of walks. Milano (2-3) picked up the win for Roger Williams going all seven innings and surrendering three runs – all earned – on 11 hits and a walk.

Coast Guard drops to 1-5 in one-run games on the season with the loss. The Bears are scheduled to be back in action on Sunday, March 23rd when they host Springfield (6-1) for a double-header in their 2014 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opener at 1 pm.

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