Binghamton splits doubleheader with Drexel

Drexel 2, Binghamton 1
Binghamton 1, Drexel 0 (8 innings)

VESTAL, N.Y.--Freshman infielder Nicole Vitello (Olean, N.Y.) doubled to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning and eventually scored the winning run as the Bearcats (16-13) won the nightcap 1-0 in 8 innings to salvage a split in a non-conference doubleheader against Drexel (10-21). The Dragons won the opener 2-1.

In the first game, Drexel scored single runs in each of the first two innings. With two out and nobody on in the first inning, freshman Kristy Pron (Sewell, N.J.) reached on an error. She advanced to second on a walk, and then scored the game's first run on an RBI single by sophomore Elizabeth Fuller (Manassas, Va.). In the second inning, junior Debbie Botke (Clarks Summit, Pa.) hit a sacrifice fly to score freshman Amanda Heyser (Phoenisville, Pa.).

Binghamton got its lone run in the bottom of the third inning. Sophomore Marybeth Yerdon (Lacona, N.Y./Sandy Creek), who was reached base in all three of her plate appearances in the game, led off with a double and advanced to third on a groundout. Freshman Rose Barre (Watertown, N.Y./General Brown) then hit a sacrifice fly to bring home the run. The Bearcats threatened in the bottom of the seventh inning by putting runners at the corners with two outs, but could not find the equalizer.

Heyser (2-5) picked up the win for Drexel, allowing just three hits over seven innings, with two walks and two strikeouts. Freshman pitcher Katie Hansen (Westtown, N.Y./Minisink Valley) went the distance for Binghamton, allowing four hits and one earned run. After allowing the runs in the first two innings, she settled down and allowed just two baserunners over the final five innings, with neither runner passing first base.

Runs were at a premium in the second game, as junior Shannon Fleishman (Bath, N.Y./Heverling) and winning pitcher Mary Karen Wheat (Brockport, N.Y.) combined on a seven-hit shutout. Fleishman scattered six hits and two walks over six-plus innings, holding the Dragons scoreless despite allowing at least one baserunner in every inning. Wheat (5-1) took over with nobody out and a runner on first in the top of the seventh inning. After Drexel put runners at second and third with one out, Wheat induced two ground balls to end the inning.

With daylight rapidly fading as the game moved to extra innings, Wheat struck out the side, setting the stage for the bottom half of the inning. Barre lined a single to left field one out after Vitello's leadoff double. After advancing to third on the hit, Vitello scored when the throw in went astray and rolled up the third-base line. Losing pitcher Elizabeth Fuller (6-11) allowed just four hits over 7 1/3 innings, striking out eight with just one walk.

The games marked the sixth doubleheader split in seven chances this season for Binghamton. The Bearcats will host two more doubleheaders over the weekend, welcoming Boston University to East Gym Field on Saturday and Sunday at noon. The defending America East champions come in to town having won 12 of their last 13 games, while allowing a total of just two runs in their last nine contests.

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