Binghamton 2008 Softball
We have improved a lot since last season, Brian said. Although we are a young team, the talent level and depth are there. Our upperclassmen have done a very good job of guiding the younger players.
Juniors Cryilla Suker, Jessica Whitaker and Patty Egan all return as starters. Suker ranked second in the America East Conference and No. 31 in the nation last season with 9.6 strikeouts per game. Whitaker and Egan have both improved substantially since last season. Both are versatile players who also bring key bats into the lineup.
Our starting rotation is solid and deep, Brian said. Each pitcher brings something different so we have enough variety to keep opponents guessing.
Phillips, a highly-recruited standout from Pickerington,
Ohio, is slated to start at first base. She is coming off an
impressive fall and has the bat to hit for power in her first
season. Backing her up will be freshman Stephanie
We have had a very good makeover in our infield, Brian said. This will really help out our pitchers. Our team ERA could drop significantly and our fielding percentage should increase with the upgrades we have made.
The Bearcats have substantially bolstered the catcher position with a trio of newcomers. Freshman Deannie Plemon and sophomore Stephanie Kolodziejski are the top two players. Plemon , who arrives from Irvine, Calif., has had one of the top bats on the squad. Kolodziejski, who transfers from Fordham, was the 2004 New York State Gatorade Player of the Year at nearby Union-Endicott High School. Freshman Kelly Schuldt, who comes from nearby Whitney Point High School, will also be in the mix.
We are young in terms of our catchers having the experience of calling pitches but there is solid potential, Brian said. They are good ball blockers and are capable of firing quick releases to throw out base runners.
Meadows will anchor the outfield from the center field
position. A two-year starter, she is coming off a tremendous
fall and appears ready to make major strides this year.
Sandy will do a tremendous job leading in the outfield, Brian said. She has a great arm, is very quick and become more aggressive at the plate. We have a lot of options in right and left field, depending on who is swinging the bat well.
Binghamton starts off 2008 at four tournaments--Elon (Feb. 22-23), Texas-El Paso (Feb. 29-March 2), College of Charleston (March 14-16) and Ohio State (March 22-23). Other non-conference opponents on the schedule are Niagara, Marist, Syracuse, Colgate, Siena and Cornell.
Everything we do during the non-conference (portion of the) season is to prepare ourselves for America East play, Brian said. This season, we open with four challenging tournaments, so our first 18 games will be against very good opponents. It is important for our team to focus on improving each game so we can be ready when the conference games start.
AMERICA EAST CONFERENCE
In the America East Conference, Albany is the three-time defending tournament champion and Boston won the regular-season crown in 2007. Hartford and UMBC also made the post season and Stony Brook was in the running for a spot until the final weekend. While Binghamton has yet to make the America East Tournament, the foundation for success is starting to be set.
The conference is very unilateral this year, Brian said. The main goal for any of us is to finish in the top four because anything can happen once you get into the conference tournament. We expect this season to be the start of making our mark in the America East.
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