Cookingham & DiBlasio lead Golden Bears offensively
CLERMONT, Fla. (March 18, 2019) – The Western New England University softball team split its two games with Allegheny (Pa.) College and the University of Wisconsin-Superior on Monday at Hancock Park.
The Golden Bears fell to Allegheny 9-6 in the morning, before salvaging a split with a 4-1 win over Wisconsin-Superior.
Allegheny 9, Western New England 6
Western New England received two-hit performances from sophomore Emily Cooney (Berlin, Conn.) and freshmen Jamie Cookingham (Warner, N.H.) and Dina DiBlasio (Norwalk, Conn.). Cooney and classmate Emilie Decker (Pattersonville, N.Y.) drove in two runs each, while Cookingham and senior Giovanna Russo (East Haven, Conn.) had one RBI apiece.
Allegheny was led by junior Samantha Valera (Chicago, Ill.), who went 4-for-5 at the plate with a double, a triple and four RBI.
Sophomore Hayley Behr (Pittsburgh, Pa.) posted a 3-for-4 effort with two RBI and two runs scored, while senior Maria DiDonato (Pittsburgh, Pa.) went 2-for-4 at the plate with a double, two RBI and two runs scored.
Allegheny struck first in the top of the first inning on an RBi single by senior Jessica Valerino (Liverpool, N.Y.). The Gators tacked on three more runs in the second, via a solo homer from Behr, an RBI double by Didonato, and an RBI single from Valera.
Western New England answered with two runs in the bottom of the second, as Russo recorded an RBI single and Cooney drew a walk with the bases loaded.
The Golden Bears then pulled to within one (4-3) in the third on a sacrifice fly by Cookingham, but Allegheny put four runs on the board in the fifth to extend its lead to five. Didonato recorded an RBI single, and Valera added a two-out, three-run double.
Western New England continued to battle back with three runs in the fifth to close the gap to two (8-6), but the Gators tacked on one final run in the sixth, and the Golden Bears were held scoreless over the final two frames.
Western New England 4, Wisconsin-Superior 1
Junior Aimee Kistner (Taunton, Mass.) carried the Golden Bears both in the circle and at the plate in the second game of the day. She pitched a complete game, striking out four batters and allowing just one run, while also going 2-for-4 with a double, one RBI and two runs scored.
DiBlasio and Cookingham were also key offensive contributors, as they both turned in 2-for-3 performances at the plate.
Western New England took an early 2-0 lead as Kistner recorded an RBI double with one out in the first inning before coming in to score on an error in the outfield two batters later.
Neither team scored over the next four innings, but the Golden Bears doubled their advantage (4-0) in the sixth when Cookingham came through with a two-out, two-run single.
Wisconsin-Superior spoiled Kistner's shutout bid on freshman Amber Yoch's (North Branch, Minn.) RBI single in the bottom of the seventh, but Kistner stranded two runners on base to secure the win for Western New England.
Western New England (3-2) is back in action tomorrow, as the Golden Bears are slated to face SUNY New Paltz (1:30 p.m.) and Bowdoin (4 p.m.) at Legends Way Ballfields in Clermont.