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The Binghamton University softball team defeated Stony Brook to advance to win the America East championship and advance to the NCAA Tournament.
Softball team headed to NCAA Tournament
May 11, 2015Tweet
A day after capturing its first-ever America East championship, the Binghamton softball team (24-19) learned of its next destination. The Bearcats will travel to James Madison, where they will face the host Dukes at 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 15. Also in the double elimination bracket are Fordham and N.C. State.
The squad gathered in the TAU room of the Events Center on Sunday evening to watch the live broadcast of the NCAA Selection show on ESPNU. Family, friends, athletic department staffers and members of the local media were also present.
The host Dukes are the No. 15 seed in the NCAA Tournament, having gone 47-8 during the regular season. Fordham (36-18) won the Atlantic 10 title this past weekend, going a perfect 4-0 in the process. N.C. State, meanwhile, went 35-20 playing in the ACC.
Binghamton has faced a pair of teams this season in the Harrisonburg Regional. The Bearcats lost 6-4 to Fordham back on March 13. The following day, N.C. State defeated Binghamton 7-0.
The Bearcats have visited James Madison for in-season tournaments four times during its NCAA Division I era (2002, 2004, 2011 and 2013). The Dukes won the most recent meeting between the squads, 2-1, back on March 19, 2011.
This marks the first appearance by the Binghamton softball team in the NCAA Division I Tournament. As a Division III program, known then as the Colonials, the team advanced to the NCAA Tournament four consecutive years (1995-98).
The Bearcats won their first-ever America East title by sweeping a pair of games against top-seeded Stony Brook on May 9 at University Field in Stony Brook. The Bearcats entered the day needing to win a pair of games against the Seawolves and proceed to reel off 5-2 and 9-3 victories.
Freshman pitcher Sarah Miller was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. She scattered two runs on five hits and struck out four batters to record the complete-game victory in the opener. In the nightcap, she allowed two runs on four hits through four innings before turning the ball over to junior Cara Martin in the bottom of the fifth inning.
The Bearcats were nursing a 3-2 lead heading into the top of the sixth inning, but erupted for five runs to blow the game open. Senior shortstop Caitlyn Friis hit a two-run double and scored two batters later on a three-run home run by junior outfielder Sydney Harbaugh. Both Friis and Harbaugh (who finished the tournament with three home runs) joined Miller on the all-tournament team.
Our girls did a very good job and we are very proud of them,” head coach Michelle Burrell said. “We talked at the start of the season that we wanted to be playing our best ball at the end of the year. Everyone bought into the team, accepted their roles and that’s why we are here where we are today.”
Also named to the all-tournament team was junior Lisa Cadogan, who hit a team-best .414 during the five games. Martin, meanwhile, finished the tournament with a pair of saves.