New London, Conn. - March 25, 2017 - The Springfield College softball team continued its best start to a season since 1996 when the Pride picked up a pair of wins over Coast Guard to open its New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) schedule on Saturday afternoon.
With the win, the Pride is now 11-1 on the year, including a 2-0 mark in the NEWMAC, while the two losses drops Coast Guard to 10-4 overall and 0-2 in conference play.
Leading the Pride on Saturday was junior infielder Kirsten Drobiak (Griswold, Conn.), who went 6-for-7 at the plate with five RBI in two games, while freshman outfielder Allie Wheeler (Agawam, Mass.) went a combined 5-for-7 at the plate and drove in three runs to push her season total to nine. Additionally, Drobiak picked up her 100th-career hit in the second game when she singled to right field in the bottom of the second.
As good as Springfield College was offensively, Talia Loda (East Haven, Conn.) and Shelby Allen (Oakland, N.J.) shut the Bears down from the circle, as the duo only gave up six hits on the day and allowed no runs.
Up next, Springfield College will hit the road on Wednesday, March 29 when it takes on Skidmore at 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. in non-conference play.
Springfield College 9, Coast Guard 0 -- Game One
An eight-run bottom of the sixth inning proved to be the difference for Springfield College, as the Pride took the first of two games on Saturday, 9-0, over Coast Guard in New London. Drobiak finished the contest with three hits and four RBI, while Wheeler drove in three to help lead Springfield College to victory.
Taking the circle in game one, Loda pitched a complete-game four hitter, striking out four and allowing no runs to earn her sixth win of the season.
It took until the fourth inning for either team to get on the scoreboard, but Springfield College struck first in the bottom of the fourth inning when Wheeler singled to center, plating Rachel Ball (Coventry, R.I.) to give the Pride a 1-0 lead.
Heading into the bottom of the sixth, Wheeler once again sparked the Pride, as the freshman poked a two-run double to right field, scoring Meghan Sastram (Oxford, Conn.) and Drobiak, before Mackenzie Navarro (Taunton, Mass.) reached first on an error, allowing Wheeler to come home and make it 4-0.
After Loda drove in Navarro with a sacrifice fly to left field, Drobiak stepped up with the bases loaded and drove one over the left field fence for a grand slam, pushing the Pride's lead to nine.
Once the inning ended, the game did as well, Springfield College earning the 9-0 win to improve to 10-1
Springfield College 8, Coast Guard 0 -- Game Two
As strong as Loda was in game one, Allen was just as effective in game two, as the sophomore pitched a complete-game, giving up just two hits while also striking out a pair to improve to 3-1 on the year.
Junior outfielder Carianna Gasdia (Wakefield, Mass.) was impressive at the plate, as she went 3-for-4, picked up three RBI and added a pair of stolen bases in the win. Wheeler, Drobiak and Loda also went 3-for-4 at the plate in game two, as Drobiak picked up her fifth RBI of the day.
Springfield College got started early, as Drobiak singled to center in the bottom of the first to score Gasdia to give the Pride an early 1-0 advantage. In the bottom of the second, Gasdia stepped up with Loda and Ball on base and cracked a three-run shot over the center field fence to push the Pride's lead to four at the end of two.
After a quiet third and fourth inning, the Pride added three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning when Kayla Padroff (Southington, Conn.) and Allen scored on an error at second base, before Ball grounded out to third, but scored Alexyss Conley (Bloomingburg, N.Y.) to make it 7-0, Springfield College.
The Pride would tack on one more in the bottom of the sixth when Conley singled to center, scoring Wheeler to seal the 8-0 win.