WELLESLEY, Mass. – Wellesley College softball opened the 2017 New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) season by splitting a pair of games with the United States Coast Guard Academy on Wednesday at the Wellesley Softball Field. The Blue dropped game one by a 4-1 margin, before responding with an 8-0 five-inning shutout of the Bears in the nightcap.
Wellesley is now 6-3 overall and 1-1 in conference play. Coast Guard moves to 13-7 overall and 1-5 in NEWMAC games.
Game One: Coast Guard 4, Wellesley 1
Game one between the Blue and the Bears turned on a fourth inning grand slam from Coast Guard's Malia Hindle (Seaville, N.J.), when the sophomore's first career home run turned a 1-0 deficit for the Bears into a 4-1 advantage.
First year Claire Hurley (Waterford, Conn.) went 3-for-4 at the plate to lead all players with three hits in the opener, but it was Hindle's home run to left center that drove in all four Coast Guard runs in the game to help starter Julia Ferris (Falls Church, Va.) improve to 6-3 on the season. Ferris pitched seven innings, surrendering seven hits, while walking three and striking out three to earn the win.
First year Autumn Brown (Marshfield, Mass.) laced a pair of doubles to lead the Blue, finishing 2-for-2 out of the number seven spot in the Wellesley lineup. Classmate Kendall Smith (Turlock, Calif.) also finished with two hits, reaching base three times thanks to a walk. In the circle, junior Julia Warner (Kenmore, Wash.) struck-out five, but gave up four runs, all earned, on six hits over seven innings of work
First year Kalei Oliver (Vista, Calif.) drove in the only Wellesley run in game one, lifting a sacrifice fly to right field in the bottom of the second inning to score sophomore Veronica Locher (Walnut Creek, Calif.) from third base. Locher reached base earlier in the inning with a one-out single down the right field line.
After getting two quick outs, Warner got into some trouble in the top of the third, surrendering a single to first year Courtney McKenna (Sparta, N.J.) before hitting back-to-back batters to load the bases. Hindle then delivered a strike to left center to clear the bases and give the Bears a 4-1 lead. That was all of the runs the visitors would need, as they held on to take game one.
Game Two: Wellesley 8, Coast Guard 0 (5 innings)
Junior Amanda Manning (Chico, Calif.) went 4-for-4 with two doubles, a triple, four runs scored and two RBIs to lead the Blue to an 8-0 victory over Coast Guard in game two.
The top of the Wellesley order was locked in for the second game of the day, combining to register nine of Wellesley's 12 hits in the contest. Smith added three more hits, two RBIs and two runs scored, while senior Ashtyn Coleman (Scottsdale, Ariz.) registered a game-high three RBIs, going 2-for-2 with a double. Brown, Warner, and senior Kendra Coleman (Scottsdale, Ariz.) also tallied hits for the Blue. Started Madeline Bianchi (Lakeville, Minn.) scattered three hits over five innings to improve to 3-2 with her first shutout of the year.
Hurley added a base hit for Coast Guard, who also got base knocks from first years Kayla Sowers (Rocklin, Calif.) and Carly Hattman (Egg Harbor, N.J.). After going the distance in game one, Ferris was saddled with the loss in game two, pitching three innings, while giving up three runs, two earned, and five hits.
Wellesley scored one run in the first, two in the third and fourth, and three in the fifth to seal the victory. Manning delivered the first run, scoring on an error in the bottom of the first. The Blue got two in the third, as back-to-back doubles from Manning and Smith scored the first run, before Ashtyn Coleman lifted a sacrifice fly to left to bring home Smith.
Ashtyn Coleman deposited the next two Wellesley runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, ripping an RBI double over the head of the Coast Guard center fielder to score Smith and Manning. Smith then ended the game in the bottom of the fifth, scoring Manning on an RBI single to right after Manning had driven in a pair of runs with a triple earlier in the inning.
Wellesley will travel across town to take on Babson on Friday, April 7, in a doubleheader beginning at 3:00 PM. Coast Guard will also play Friday when they host Wheaton at 3:00 PM.