CLERMONT, Fl. - Freshman Emma Hvozdovich and junior Morgan Kingston combined for nine hits and 12 RBI's leading Coast Guard to a 9-6 victory over Bethany and a 10-8 victory over New England College in the National Training Center Tournament to start the season.
In game one Kingston went 3-5 in the first game with two RBI's and two stolen bases while Hvodovich was 2-4 with 4 RBI's. Senior All-American Jessie Richardson was 1-4 with one RBI while sophomore Cherokee Strickland was 1-3 with one RBI and two walks.
The Bears jumped on the Bison in the first scoring four runs. Strickland had an RBI double while Hvozdovich had 2 RBI double.
Bethany would score two of their own in the bottom of the first as junior Deanna Mihalco had an RBI double to right field scoring senior Jessica Kusnierz. Sophomore Sarah Coss would single in another run making the score 4-2.
The score would remain 4-2 until the top of the fifth when Kingston would single past the shortstop scoring Hvozdovich increasing the Bears lead to three.
Coast Guard seemed to take control of the game in the top of the seventh as they plated four runs taking a 9-2 lead. Kingston and Richardson would each drive in a run over this stretch while Hvozdovich would knock in two more.
The Bison would however not go quietly as the they drove in four straight runs on hits by Mihalco, Kusnierz, senior Kadie Kelly and senior Emili Garretson bringing the score to 9-6. Sophomore pitcher Sarah Sorensen would calm things down and get out of a bases loaded jam getting junior Taylor Solomon to ground out to the shortstop.
In game two the Bears would have to battle back as they fell behind New England College 4-0 in the first two innings.
The bats would come alive for Coast Guard in the bottom of the second as Kingston drove in three runs on a double to left. Kingston would score on an error by the third basemen to tie the score at four. Kingston would go 2-4 with three RBI's in the second game.
The Bears would take their first lead of the game in the bottom of the fifth as Hvozdovich would once again double in a pair of runs. Senior Kelsey Gray would then plate Hvozdovich on a single past the short stop giving Coast Guard a 7-4 lead. Hvozdovich continued her hot start going 2-4 with three RBI's.
The Pilgrims would take the lead one final time as they put four runs across in the top of the sixth giving them a 8-7 lead.
New England's would not last as Coast Guard came up in the bottom of the sixth and scored three more one RBI singles by Richardson, Strickland, and Hvozdovich giving the Bears their final lead of the game, 10-8.
Sorensen would give up would earn two wins on the day as struck out five over ten innings of works. She and team are now 2-0 on the year.
Freshman Emily Dow would also get her first collegiate start in the second game going four innings with four strikeouts earning a no decision.
The Bears return to action tomorrow, March 9th, with two more games against Mount Ida and Lakeland. First pitch is 9:00 am and 11:00 am.