Local college notes
Mariners riding a wave
• The Mitchell College baseball team finished the regular season on a hot streak, going 10-1-1 in its last 12 games. The Mariners (21-11-1, 15-3) ended in first-place tie with Daniel Webster (23-9, 15-3), which earned the top seed and the right to host the conference tournament because it won the regular-season series between the two teams.
Second-seeded Mitchell opens the double elimination tournament by playing No. 3 Elms College (19-16) on Friday afternoon in Nashua, N.H. The Mariners won all four regular season meetings.
Sophomore outfielder Drew Doyle, a Fitch graduate, is an All-NECC first team candidate. He's batting a team-high .390 with 24 RBI. Freshmen Neftali Arroyo (.309, 2 HR, 30 RBI) and Tyler Shamas (8-1. 2.01) also are making big impacts. New London's Nova Crespo was named NECC Rookie of the Week after batting .455 with a home run, double and six RBI last week in five games. He was 4-for-8 in a three-game sweep of Southern Vermont and drove in runs in every game. In the series finale on Sunday, he had a double, home run and three RBI as Mitchell clinched the second seed.
• In softball, Mitchell opens the NECC tournament today at second-seeded Becker (20-12). The Mariners (11-23) are the seventh seed. Lindsay Romagnino leads the team in home runs (3) and RBI (24) while hitting .340. Bridget Thomson, a freshman out of Fitch, is batting .250 with one home run and 10 RBI.
Tracking the Bears
• After opening the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference softball tournament with a pair of wins, Coast Guard is still in the hunt for its fourth straight tournament title. The sixth-seeded Bears upset No. 3 Babson, 1-0, and No. 2 Wheaton, 3-2, on Saturday. They advance to the winner's bracket final and play at top-seeded Springfield (24-17) at 10 a.m. Saturday.
"I'm ecstatic!" coach Donna Koczajowski said in a released statement. "We're finally playing Coast Guard ball and I think we're peaking at the right time."
Last weekend, the Bears (22-15) rode timely hitting, sound defense and terrific pitching to two straight tournament wins. Freshman Kristine Kahl pitched two complete games.
"Kristine is starting to realize her potential and performing to that potential for us," Koczajowski said. "Kudos to both Jessie (Richardson) for calling a great game behind the plate and to Kristine for executing."
Coast Guard lost the regular season series against Springfield, 8-2 and 7-3.
Koczajowski also recorded her 400th career victory last week in a 3-1 win over regional rival Eastern Connecticut State University on Thursday.
• Coast Guard athletes are excelling on and off the field. Five Bears made the NEWMAC women's rowing academic all-conference team. Senior Jessica Ward was named to the team for the third straight season while junior Cathy Durand and Judy Hooymans made their second appearance. Sophomores Megan Geboski and Corrin Nolin also were honored. Ward and Catherine Schmitz also were named to the All-NEWMAC varsity team while Jane Saunders made the novice team.
• The Connecticut College men's lacrosse team avenged a regular-season loss to Hamilton with an 8-6 win in Saturday's New England Small College Athletic Conference tournament quarterfinal. The second-seeded Camels (12-3), who've won four straight, will play Tufts on Saturday in the semifinals at Middlebury College. Conn won the regular season meeting, 16-15, on March 12.
Conn, which is ranked 14th in the latest Division III poll, is attempting to qualify for the NCAA tournament for the third time in four years. Senior John Lyons passed the 1,000 career point mark with a goal and an assist on Saturday. He has 60 goals and 41 assists for 101 points. Andrew Freedman is ranked third in the NESCAC with 51 points (36 goals, 15 assists). Freshman goalie Bobby Bleistein is second in Division III with a .673 save percentage and owns a sparkling 6.82 goals-against-average.
Around the region
Former Fitch standout Arielle Cooper, a senior third baseman, has powered the Eastern Connecticut softball team to the top seed in the Little East tournament. Cooper leads the Little East in batting average (.554), home runs (16) and RBI (42). Three-time defending champion Eastern (25-11) hosts sixth-seeded UMass-Boston (15-25) at noon on Thursday.
Several other local athletes have contributed to ECSU's success. Mattie Brett, a junior from Waterford, is third on the team in batting average at .392. She also has two home runs and 25 RBI. Sophomore pitcher Erin Miller of Waterford ranks first in wins with a 11-2 mark and 3.11 earned run average while freshman Alyssa Hancock (.316) has two home runs and 19 RBI and junior Megan Bondy, a Fitch graduate, has one home run and six RBI.
• Junior Tyler Wild, a St. Bernard graduate, had a productive week for the St. Michael's College baseball team. He had two RBI in a 7-1 win over Middlebury in the first game of a doubleheader. He had a single, double and scored three runs in a 13-1 win over Saint Anselm. Wild has appeared in 29 games, starting 24 games. He's batting .232 with eight RBI.
• UConn senior shortstop Brittany Duclos, a Fitch graduate, has equaled her career high with 20 RBI. She also is hitting .236 with four home runs for the Huskies (24-24).
• Junior Ryan Foster of Ledyard and freshman Nate Wilson, a Norwich Free Academy graduate, are the two leading goal scorers for the Western Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team. Foster has 39 goals and 17 assists and Wilson 36 goals and 10 assists. Western, the No. 6 seed, plays at No. 3 UMass-Dartmouth (10-4) in the opening round of the Little East touranment today.
- Gavin Keefe