Alexyss Conley stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning with the Pride trailing by two. Bases loaded. Two outs.
She took a big swing at the ball and lined a shot to center. Coast Guard center fielder Emma Hzodovich flew towards the ball and snagged it to secure the win and split for the Bears.
Despite the ball being hit hard, the Pride had nothing to show for their attempted comeback. Springfield was unable to comeback after winning game one, 3-1, before ultimately falling 7-5 in game two.
In the first game of the doubleheader, the Pride got another superb performance from ace Talia Loda in the circle.
The senior pitched a complete game, allowing five hits, four walks, and just one unearned run in the sixth inning. Despite not plating a run until the sixth, the Bears had multiple opportunities to score. In the second, Coast Guard stranded runners on first and third when Loda induced a groundball to third. As the Pride continued to be held in check for the early part of the game by Coast Guard Pitcher Julia Ferris, the Bears squandered a big opportunity in the third. The Bears loaded the bases; but once again, Loda wiggled out of trouble inducing a pop out and a groundout.
With both pitchers settling in for an old-fashioned pitcher’s duel, a run or two seemed like that would be enough to win the game. The first breakthrough came in the sixth inning when the Bears scored a run on a passed ball. However, the Pride offense responded in a big way, by picking up their star pitcher. The Pride took advantage of a Coast Guard error and fielder’s choice, as Conley tied up the game with an RBI single. Following Conley’s single pinch hitter, Yaixsa Vargas, came through with a clutch two-run double into the left center gap to give the Pride a 3-1 lead.
Coming off a win, the Pride got off to a fast start.
After a 1-2-3 first inning from Shelby Allen, the Springfield was able to score three runs thanks to a two-run double by Allie Wheeler and an RBI single from Conley. After the Bears got a run in the second, neither team showed much life offensively until the top of the fourth. Here, Coast Guard would score two runs off a fielder’s choice and an RBI single to tie the game. However, with runners on first and third with only one out, Allen bounced back and struckout back to back hitters to keep the game tied at three. The Pride answered back with two runs in the bottom of the fourth as a throwing error off a groundball by Carianna Gasdia allowed two runs to score.
The Pride were cruising, until the top of the seventh inning hit.
Just three outs away from finishing the sweep, Springfield couldn’t finish.
After the Bears loaded the bases with no outs, a sac fly cut the lead to one. After a single reloaded the bases second basemen Emily Hogan hit a bases clearing double to give the Bears their first lead of Game 2. However, the Pride did not go away as they would load the bases with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning. However, it was not meant to be as Wheeler would strikeout before as mentioned earlier Conley hit a line drive that the center fielder was able to squeeze for the win.
Takeaways from Today
- Talia Loda is still really good. With her latest gem, Loda now has an 8-3 record with a 1.57 ERA. What makes Loda so good, is how even when she allows baserunners, she can limit the damage or allow nothing at all.
- Consistency is key. For Shelby Allen, in today’s game she had innings where her stuff is untouchable, however at times today her stuff seemed to come and go. If the Pride get consistent pitching out of Allen they could have one of the best 1-2 punches in not only the NEWMAC but in New England
After splitting the doubleheader with Coast Guard, the Pride sit at 17-6 on the year and are 4-4 in the NEWMAC. Despite the disappointment of squandering a lead in the seventh the Pride will have a chance to right the ship, as they face off against the Clark University Cougars on Friday at 3 PM for a doubleheader back home on Potter Field.
Featured photo courtesy of Reef Rogers.