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Softball team picked third in America East Preseason Poll

Bearcats return four all-conference players from 2011 squad

February 7, 2012

Softball team picked third in America East Preseason Poll

America East Conference Release

VESTAL, N.Y.—The America East Conference has released its annual Preseason Softball Poll, and Binghamton has been picked to finish third among the seven teams. The voting was done by the seven conference head coaches.

With 28 points, the Bearcats finished just two points behind second-place Albany and seven points behind first-place Boston University. Just one point separated UMBC (18 points) and Stony Brook
(17) for fourth and fifth place. Maine (10) and Hartford (9) rounded out the seven-team poll. The top four teams in the conference will advance to the America East Championship, held at the top seed on
May 10-12..

In 2011, Binghamton went 24-24 (10-7 AE) and clinched its first trip to the America East Tournament with a third-place finish during the regular season. The Bearcats also finished third at the tournament. Boston University was the regular-season champion but Albany took the tournament title and the accompanying automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Junior outfielder Jessica Phillips is the Bearcats’ top returnee, having been named the America East Co-Player of the Year in 2011. She also earned first-team NFCA All-Region honors. In her sophomore campaign, Phillips led the conference in hitting (.435), on-base percentage (.576), slugging percentage (.863) and home runs (14).

Senior outfielder Meghan Tucker has been named second-team all-conference in each of the past two seasons. Sophomore utility player Lisa Cutrona was named both second-team all-conference and all-rookie last year. Sophomore infielder Jessica Bump, meanwhile, was an all-rookie selection.

Other starting position players returning this season include sophomore infielder Mikala King and junior outfielder Shannon Kane.

On the mound, the Bearcats return all four pitchers from last year, which include senior Kristen Emerling, juniors Rhoda Marsteller and Kate Price as well as sophomore Demi Laney.

Since Michelle Burrell took over as Binghamton’s head coach in 2010, the squad has gone 47-42, including 18-17 in America East Conference games. In the classroom, the Bearcats have posted the top softball team GPA in the conference both seasons.

Binghamton launches its 2012 season on Feb. 17 at the Florida Gulf Coast Tournament. Its home opener comes on March 27 against Siena at 3 p.m.

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