Bears Drop a Pair in NEWMAC Opener at WPI

Bears Swept by WPI in NEWMAC Opener

WORCESTER, Mass. - Caroline Medino tossed eight innings, picking up her fourth and fifth wins and Amanda Pierce went 5-for-5 with four runs scored and a pair of RBI as WPI swept Coast Guard 9-4 and 4-3 in the first ever softball doubleheader played at WPI's new rooftop field.

Medino started the opening game and went 4-1/3 innings, allowing just two runs as her teammates put up seven runs across the second and third innings. The freshman then went another 3-2/3 in the nightcap. Medino gave up two runs in the seventh but got support from the batting lineup once again in extra innings.

 WPI's record improves to 10-5 and 3-2 in NEWMAC play while Coast Guard falls to 7-9 overall and 0-2 in conference action.

Senior Nicole McDonough led the offense in the first game, going 3 for 4 with three runs scored and three RBI. She hit a leadoff double and a leadoff home run in the WPI's two big scoring innings, the second and third.

McDonough also slid headfirst across home plate to score the winning run in the bottom of the eighth in the second game. She was on second base to start the eighth inning by virtue of the international tiebreaker rule. McDonough moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Juliana Fekete, and then charged home for the walk-off on a grounder to short by Lauren DiFelice.

Medino pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the top half of the eighth after giving up a two-run homer to the Bears' Cherokee Strickland in the seventh.

WPI entered the bottom half of the inning down 3-2, but Pierce hit a leadoff double to swing the momentum, and Kristin Gallagher whacked another double down the left field line to score Pierce and tie it up 3-3. Gallagher went 4 for 7 overall with four RBI. Pierce was 5 for 5 with a walk to reach base in all six of her plate appearances, scoring four times.

Pierce scored the first run of the nightcap in the third inning, coming around on an Ali LaRue base knock. Pierce then made it 2-0 in the fourth, driving in pinch runner Chiana Montesi with a single up the middle.

In the opener, DiFelice broke a scoreless tie in the second inning with a single that brought home McDonough. Gallagher smacked a two-run double to right field with two out, scoring DiFelice and Pierce to make it 3-0 to the Engineers.

After McDonough's leadoff homer in the third, WPI drew three walks and a hit batsmen in succession to make it 5-0 with no out. Two more runs crossed after that on a hit to left field by Gallagher. Jacquelyne DiTroia and Pierce both came home after a throwing error by Coast Guard.

The Crimson and Gray added two more runs after that as Montesi scored on another throwing error and Pierce drove in McDonough to make it 9-4.

Kelly Grills, Morgan Kingston, Erin Reynolds, and Strickland all scored in four-run fifth inning for Coast Guard as the visitors benefited from a pair of WPI errors.

Grills and Kingston led off the inning with hits, while Kaitlin Ward had the only run-scoring hit, singling home Reynolds.

Clare Doolin entered to pitch for WPI after that, going the final 2-2/3 innings and allowing just one hit for her first save of the season.

Sarah Sorenson went the distance for Coast Guard in the nightcap, never allowing more than one run in a single inning.

Coast Guard jumps back into action on Friday afternoon, April 4th when they travel to Norton for a doubleheader against Wheaton with the start time scheduled for 3:00 pm.

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