Published May 05. 2012 7:00PM Updated May 05. 2012 7:38PM
The Coast Guard Academy softball team won three straight games Saturday to capture the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference tournament championship.
The Bears defeated Springfield 8-5 in eight innings in the losers' bracket final before sweeping Babson in the championship series 11-0 in five innings and 5-2, with all three games being played at Springfield.
That gives the Bears (26-17) the league's automatic bid to the Division III NCAA tournament. The NCAA bracket will be announced Monday morning.
Senior pitcher Hayley Feindel, who earned all three wins, was named the tournament's MVP and became Division III's all-time wins leader with her second victory of the day. Feindel, also the all-time strikeouts leader, has 122 career victories.
"Luckily, championships are won when teams peak," said Coast Guard coach Donna Koczajowski, whose team entered the NEWMAC tournament as the No. 6 seed. "We had to be better and there was no other time to do it."