SJC raced out to a 5-0 lead in game two, but had to settle for a split as the Dolphins battled back to hand the Bears a 15-10 defeat on Saturday afternoon in Skyline Conference.
Bennett would finish the afternoon with four hits — three going for extra bases — and five RBIs. Ashleigh Hartwig collected five hits on the day and extended her hit streak to 15 games.
Following a pair of quick innings with Bears starter Jessica Mecham striking out three of the first six Dolphins in game one, the Bears opened the scoring off the bat of Sierra Bedrin (1-3, RBI, R) in the third, whose single to left brought home Vivian Tomovich (1-2, 2 R).
The next half inning saw the Dolphins retaliate, courtesy of a Katie Hutter double to plate Alicia Blevins. Hutter scored on a single by Jocelyn Vega to take a 2-1 lead and help her cause in the circle.
In the bottom of the fifth. Arianna Heinsch's (0-2, RBI) of Fontbonne Hall Academy in Brooklyn drove home the tying run from third before Tomovich scored her second run of the game on Hartwig's (1-3, RBI, R) RBI single; giving the Bears the 3-2 edge.
Still in the fifth, with runners on the corners, Bennett (1-3, HR, 3 RBI, R) belted a three-run shot to left — the first of her collegiate career — increasing the lead to 6-2, which they carried into the 7th.
Mecham (7.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 3 K) went the distance in the circle to pick up her league-high-tying seventh win of the season, improving to 7-1.
After a swift opener, the pace slowed in the second as both offenses erupted. The Bears raced out to an early 5-0 lead after one as Bennett started the scoring with a double and Alexis Buchanan followed with a two-run single.
A Dolphin miscue allowed Buchanan home and Gabriella Salvador (0-1, RBI) capped the five-run frame with a sac fly.
The Dolphins would not let the Bears cruise to a sweep and scored six unanswered, hanging a trio of runs in the 2nd and 3rd to take the lead — highlighted by Aimee Vega's two-run blast in the 2nd.
St. Joseph's jumped ahead with three of their own in the bottom of the third. Allison Kaspar (0-0 R, BB) scored with heads-up base running on a shallow fly to tie the game at 6-all. Mauve McKeon (3-4, R, 2B) scored on an error after belting a double earlier in the frame and Hartwig's double pushed the lead to 8-6.
The visitors would move on top for good in the fifth, plating five runs, all but one scoring unearned as a result of three Bear errors. CMSV followed it up with four more unearned runs in the sixth to take a 15-8 advantage.
Mecham (4 IP, 1 ER, 2 K) took the loss in the circle after entering in relief in the fourth. Only one of her nine runs scored earned as she fell to 7-2 — her first loss in eight decisions.
The Bears are scheduled to return to the SJC Outdoor Field Complex next weekend to face sibling rivals SJC Long Island in a road doubleheader on Saturday, May 1 starting at noon.