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Softball concludes season with split at Niagara

Bearcats drop opener 1-0 but bounce back to win nightcap 5-2

May 6, 2012

Softball concludes season with split at Niagara

Game One Box Score

Game Two Box Score

NIAGARA, N.Y.—Sophomore catcher Lisa Cutrona went 3-for-5 and sophomore second baseman Jessica Bump went 3-for-7 with a pair of RBI, highlighting Binghamton’s doubleheader split against Niagara a non-conference softball doubleheader on Sunday afternoon at Niagara Field. The Bearcats, who finish the season 22-29, dropped the first game to the Purple Eagles (15-30) 1-0 before taking the second game 5-2.

With the split, Binghamton ends its season with at least 22 wins for the third year in a row. Prior to Michelle Burrell taking over as the head coach in 2010, the last time the Bearcats won at least 20 games was in 2002 (when they won 23). Sunday’s games were also the finale for senior pitcher Kristen Emerling, senior outfielders Briana Andrews and Meghan Tucker, as well as senior infielder Chelsea Horne.

“I’d like to thank our seniors for all of their hard work and commitment to the program,” Burrell said. “They will be missed and I wish them all the best of luck in their future endeavors.”

Against Niagara, however, it was the underclassmen who led the way offensively. In addition to Cutrona and Bump, sophomore first baseman Mikala King went 2-for-4 with three runs and a RBI and sophomore designated hitter Chelsey Locatell was 2-for-4 with a run and a double.

In the opener, however, the bats went silent for both teams. Each team had only three hits and the lone run of the game came when Jessica Hitchcock scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the first inning. Kim Byson, who tossed a three-hit shutout, struck out five batters and did not issue a walk, improved her record to 7-16. Sophomore Demi Laney saw her record fall to 9-10 despite tossing six scoreless innings to end the game.

Down 2-0 in the nightcap, Binghamton’s bats finally came alive in the top of the second inning. King led off with a double and one batter later, she was singled home by Bump. One inning later, Cutrona tied the game on a RBI single and freshman shortstop Caitlin Friis singled in the go-ahead run.

Bump made it 4-2 with another RBI single in the top of the fifth inning and King gave the Bearcats an insurance run when she singled home junior outfielder Jessica Phillips.

After surrendering two runs in the first inning, Emerling concluded her career with six scoreless innings to raise her record to 5-8. Julie DiMatteo was tagged with the loss, dropping her record to 4-8.

On Wednesday, the America East Conference will announce its all-conference teams.

NOTES: Phillips, who has been named first-team All-Mid Atlantic Region the past two years, finished the season leading Binghamton with a .328 batting average, 12 home runs, 25 RBI, a .494 on-base percentage and .728 slugging percentage ... from its starting lineup against Niagara, the Bearcats will return eight players next season. In addition, three of Binghamton’s four pitchers are slated to return in 2013.

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