Bears Salvage Split at Clark

Mackenzie Everett

WORCESTER, Mass. – Host Clark University split a New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) softball twinbill with Coast Guard on Saturday afternoon at O'Brien Field, taking the opener 6-4 before dropping the nightcap, 7-3.

The win for the Cougars in the first game snapped a four-game losing streak and following today's action they now sit at 10-22 on the year. For the Bears, meanwhile, getting the win in the nightcap actually snapped an eight-game slide for them as they stand at 9-25. Both teams saw their chances of making the NEWMAC tournament come to and end with the spilt, both are 2-12 in league play with four conference contests remaining.

Each team will step out of conference for their next doubleheader with Clark hosting Worcester State on Sunday and the Bears welcoming Trinity on Tuesday.

GAME ONE: CLARK 6, COAST GUARD 4

Clark scored the game's final three runs to rally for the 6-4 victory.

Clark actually trailed 2-0 in the first after Casey Cruzpino smacked a two-run double off of Cougar starter Brenna Foley.

The hosts evened the score in the bottom of the frame when they pushed two runs of their own across on RBI doubles from both Lauren Mackey and Angelica Gonzalez.

The Cougars moved ahead in the second when they scored a run - courtesy of Leah Bodin scampering home on a wild pitch – without collecting a hit.

Coast Guard answered back quickly in the top of the third as back-to-back doubles from Emma Hvozdovich and Hayden Short tied the game at 3-3. The inning continued as Short stole second, moved to third on a Cherokee Strickland single and the came home on a passed ball.

Clark took the lead for good in the bottom of the third when freshmen Kayleigh McHugh and Taylor Erickson both drove in a runs with RBI singles.

The Cougars tacked on some insurance in the fifth when four consecutive singles – the last coming from Bodin – plated the sixth run.

Foley picked up the win for Clark after going the first four innings, while Sami West was fantastic in relief, tossing three innings of shutout ball to collect the save.

For Coast Guard, Sarah Sorensen took the loss, allowing six runs – only four of which were earned but she did yield four walks.

Both Short and Strickland had two hits for the Bears, while Mackey, Gonzalez, Erickson, McHugh and Bodin all had two hits for Clark.

GAME TWO: COAST GUARD 7, CLARK 3

The Bears erupted for five runs in the fourth to break open a tie game on their way to victory.

Clark jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when they Mackey singled with two outs and then came all the way home on fielding error.

Coast Guard tied the game in the next at bats as Cruzpino singled and they touched home on a Sharayah Simco  double.

Things stayed that way until the fourth when the Bears pushed across five runs on four hits. Simco was in the middle of it, driving in the first run with a single and then scoring on an Emily Hogan double.

A run scored on a bases loaded walk by Short and yet another came home on a passed ball. When the dust had cleared the Bears were ahead 6-1.

A few innings later the visitors were at it again, getting another run when Hvozdovich doubled, stole third and the scored on Strickland's sacrifice fly.

Clark did get two runs in the bottom of the seventh on a Gonzalez fielder's choice and an Alyssa Wright single but in the end Bear starter Mackenzie Everett was too effective, going the distance, scattering seven hits and allowing just three run – only two of which were earned.

Erickson took the loss for the Scarlet and White, but West was strong in relief again, fanning six in just 3.1 innings of work.

The Bears are back in action on Tuesday when they host Trinity in a non-conference doubleheader at 3:00.