ECSU streak halted by Coast Guard
Feindel pitches two-hitter, ECSU misses DIII record win streak
ANSFIELD, Conn. -- Senior All-American Hayley Feindel fired a two-hit shutout and sophomore Devin Fellman’s three-run homer highlighted a five-run fourth inning as fifth-seeded Coast Guard snapped No. 2-ranked Eastern Connecticut State’s 40-game winning streak in the Division III Softball Championship on Friday.
The Bears, the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) tournament champions, improve to 28-17 and advance to the winner’s bracket final. Eastern Connecticut (41-2) now plays third-seeded Rochester in an elimination game on Saturday.
The Warriors were trying to tie the national record for consecutive wins in a season. The Coast Guard victory kept them one shy of the mark set by St. Thomas (Minn.) in 2004 on the way to the first of two consecutive national titles.
Feindel was dominant as she allowed just one runner past first base, in the first inning, allowing just a pair of singles while walking a batter and striking out 10. The Bears' win streak is now seven consecutive as she improved to 21-8 on the season and registered her 62nd career shutout.
The Warriors had runners on first and second in the first as leadoff batter Arielle Cooper reached on an error and senior Molly Rathbun delivered a one-out single, but Feindel struck on the next two batters looking to end the inning.
Coast Guard scored all five of its runs in the fourth with two outs off Rathbun (30-2), who leads the nation with 30 wins, but had her 29-game win streak snapped with the loss.
In the fourth, sophomore Kaitlin Ward started the big inning with a one-out single and following a ground out, moved Ward to second. Senior Jamie Kim, the Bears' No. 8 hitter, had an RBI single to give the Bears a 1-0 lead.
Freshman Erin Lisko followed with an RBI single as the Bears pushed the lead to 2-0 as the bottom of the lineup once again came up big. Fellman followed the three-run homer to center -- her seventh of the season -- giving Coast Guard a 5-0 lead.
The Bears knocked Rathbun out of the game with back-to-back singles by freshman Jesse Richardson and junior Holli Bastinck to lead off the fifth. Rathbun went four innings and allowed eight hits and five earned runs while walking two and striking out six. Christine Akcer worked the final two innings and allowed just one hit and struck out two.
Feindel allowed just her second hit of the game a single to Kassondra Silva in the top of the fifth, the final hit she would allow. Feindel got Cooper to fly out leading off the sixth to snap Cooper's New England-record hitting streak at 33 games.
Richardson and Lisko each had two hits to lead Coast Guard. Lisko had a double the only other extra base hit in the game besides Fellman’s homer.