For Immediate Release: March 18, 2011
Contact: David O'Brian (
Phone: 607-777-6478

BU softball drops pair of close games in opening day of James Madison Tournament
Phillips goes 2-for-7 and scores twice, Emerling fans career-high nine batters

Box score: Binghamton vs. Lehigh
Box score: Binghamton vs. St. John's

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Despite a pair of solid pitching performances, Binghamton (6-5) lost two games in the opening day of the James Madison Softball Tournament. The Bearcats were defeated 4-3 by Lehigh (6-8) in eight innings and 3-1 to St. John's (12-13) on a walkoff home run in the bottom of the seventh inning.

In the opening game, Liz Lucas drilled a two-run home run in the top of the eighth inning, powering Lehigh to the victory. The Mountain Hawks had blown a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning but bounced right back and then held off a Bearcat rally in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Down by two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and down to their final two outs, the Bearcats forced extra innings when junior outfielder Jessica Phillips scored on a wild pitch and junior pinch runner Briana Andrews tied the game on a sacrifice fly. Binghamton, however, was unable to plate the winning run, setting the stage for Lucas' decisive blast.

The Bearcats nearly mounted another two-run comeback in the bottom of the eighth inning. Junior outfielder Meghan Tucker had a RBI double but was left on third base when the game ended.

Kelsey Lee got the win for Lehigh, going the distance to improve her record to 2-2. Junior pitcher Kristen Emerling got tagged with the loss despite also going 8.0 innings and striking out a career-high nine batters. She issued three walks and two of the four runs she allowed were unearned.

Phillips went 2-for-4 in the first game and scored once.

It was another two-run homer that sent Binghamton to defeat in the nightcap. Mariah Rogers hit a one-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to end the game.

The Red Storm opened the scoring in the bottom of the second inning on a solo home run by Jackie Reed. Binghamton, however, tied the game in the top of the third inning when Phillips scored on a RBI single by freshman designated hitter Demi Laney.

Aleshia Link (4-1) got the win, scattering one run on six hits and striking out three batters. Sophomore Rhoda Marsteller (2-2) took the loss, despite allowing just three hits and striking out three batters in 6.1 innings.

Sophomore outfielder Shannon Kane went 2-for-3 against the Red Storm.

Play continues on Saturday at the James Madison Tournament. Binghamton has a 10 a.m. rematch against St. John's and a 3 p.m. game against the host Dukes.

NOTES: Four of the five Bearcat setbacks this year have been decided in either extra innings or in bottom of the seventh inning ... Binghamton currently has an America East Conference-best 1.69 ERA ... Emerling's previous career high for strikeouts was seven, which she accomplished against Stony Brook on May 2, 2010 and against Cornell on May 4, 2010 ... Phillips, who is now batting a team-best .467, has five multiple-hit games this season. Kane, who is hitting .333, has posted four multiple-hit performances.

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