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Softball sweeps Hartford 5-4 and 8-6 in America East doubleheader
Horne goes 4-for-7, drives in winning runs in both games
March 31, 2012Tweet
VESTAL, N.Y.—Senior third baseman Chelsea Horne went 4-for-7 with a home run and three RBI, leading Binghamton (11-14, 2-3 AE) to a sweep over visiting Hartford (4-21, 0-5 AE) in an America East Conference softball doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at the East Gym Field. The Bearcats, who have now won their last four games, won the opener 5-4 in nine innings and took the night cap 8-7.
Horne doubled home the winning run with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning of the first game. With Binghamton trailing 7-6 in the bottom of the sixth inning of the second game, Horne drilled a two-run home run over the right-center field fence. Her home run proved to be the game winner when the Hawks went down in order in the top of the seventh inning. In the Bearcats’ past six games, Horne has gone 9-for-18 and has driven in seven runs.
Binghamton hit five home runs during the doubleheader. Junior outfielder Jessica Phillips, who drew six walks during the doubleheader, belted a three-run home run in the second game. She now has 35 home runs during her career, which moves her into sole possession of first place in program history. She had been tied with Deannie Plemon (2008-11), who hit 34 career home runs.
“We did a good job hitting today,” head coach Michelle Burrell said. “We trusted our hitting even when we got behind and Chelsea did a great job today in both games.”
As was the case on Tuesday against Siena, the Bearcats had to overcome a 4-0 deficit in the first game to pull off the win. Chelsey Mooney put Hartford up 3-0 in the top of the first inning on her first home run of the season. Amber Andrews made it 4-0 one inning later when she scored on a fielding error.
Freshman shortstop Caitlin Friis stole home in the bottom of the third inning, trimming the deficit to 4-3. In the sixth inning, Binghamton tied the game on back-to-back home runs by freshman third baseman Linda Verduzco and senior outfielder Briana Andrews. Verduzco’s shot was a two-run home run.
Senior pitcher Kristen Emerling pitched three scoreless inning in relief to improve her record to 3-3 on the season. She got out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the ninth inning, which set the stage for Horne’s heroics. Kaitlyn Meade took the loss, dropping her record to 0-10.
In the second, Binghamton once again fell behind early, courtesy of a two-run home run by Melanie Maxwell. In the bottom of the frame, however, the Bearcats erupted for five runs, with Phillips’ three run home run being the decisive blow. Hartford, however, cut the lead to 5-4 as two runners scored on a single by Shannon Simpkins.
Sophomore designated hitter Chelsey Locatell led off the bottom of the third inning with her second home run of the season. From there, the Bearcats hung on to a 6-4 edge until Hartford plated three runs in the top of the sixth inning. Amber Andrews doubled in the first run and scored the final run of the frame. Sophomore first baseman Mikala King led off the bottom of the sixth inning with an infield single. Horne came up next, delivering the two-run shot that put Binghamton ahead for good.
Junior pitcher Kate Price pitched the final 1.1 to record the win and improve her record to 2-2. Eve Clausen was tagged with the loss and is now 0-4.
Locatell finished the doubleheader 3-for-4 (.750) while Verduzco went 2-for-4 (.500) and King was 3-for-7 (.429).
Simpkins went 3-for-4 in the nightcap with a pair of RBI.
Binghamton and Hartford wrap up their weekend series with a single game on Sunday at noon.
NOTES: The nine-inning opener is the longest game the Bearcats have played this season. They last went nine innings in a 2-1 loss to Albany on May 12, 2011 in the America East Tournament.