Lyons drop NEWMAC pair at nationally-ranked Coast Guard

NEW LONDON, Conn. - The Wheaton College softball team had the 11th-ranked team in the country on the ropes in game two of Saturday's New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) twinbill before the Bears answered with a  three-run fifth inning, as the Lyons suffered 5-0 and 7-6 setbacks.

Wheaton fell to 10-8 overall and 1-3 in the conference, while Coast Guard, which is ranked by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), improved to 19-1 and 5-1.

In the second game, the visitors fell behind 4-0 after the first inning before scoring six unanswered runs, including a four-run fifth, to take a 6-4 lead.  Senior Katy Salka (Ayer, Mass./Ayer) went 3-for-4 with two RBI, a run and a double, sophomore Megan Roy (North Dighton, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth Regional) plated two, senior Nicole DeRosa (Greenwich, Conn./Greenwich Academy) drew two walks, while classmate Kristen Hunt (Milford, Conn./Jonathan Law) homered.  Junior Lesley Warn (Portland, Maine/Deering) allowed seven runs with seven walks in the loss.

Coast Guard sophomore Holli Bastinck (Wayne, N.J.) smacked a grand slam in the first and finished with two hits, while junior All-American Hayley Feindel (River Ridge, La.) improved to 19-1 despite giving up six earned runs on eight hits with two walks.  She also fanned 12 batters.

Three straight walks to open the bottom of the first led to the Bastinck bases-clearing home run before the Lyons began to chip away.  Hunt's second-inning solo blast and Salka's RBI double in the third cut Wheaton's deficit in half before the visitors pushed four runs across with two down in the fifth.  Roy smacked a two-run single, while Salka and senior Rachel Merrick (Methuen, Mass./Central Catholic) had an RBI each.  During Coast Guard's three-run home half, the Bears scored the winning run on a wild pitch.

The Lyons struggled against Feindel in game one, managing just five hits while striking out 12 times and drawing three walks.  Salka doubled to record Wheaton's lone extra-base hit.  Freshman hurler Allison Baker (Orange, Conn./Amity Regional) was saddled with the loss, giving up just two earned runs with three strikeouts and two walks in a complete-game effort.

Junior Maddie Buchert (Metaire, La.) and freshman Devin Fellman (New Port Richey, Fla.) had two hits and a run apiece to pace the Coast Guard offense.  The Bears scored once in the first before taking advantage of three Wheaton defensive miscues to plate four runs in the second, three of which were unearned.  Stranding 10 runners, the Lyons failed to get past second base.

Wheaton is back in action tomorrow afternoon with a home doubleheader against conference foe Wellesley College at 12:00 p.m.

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