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Softball gains split against Niagara in home opener
April 5, 2011Tweet
Sophomore outfielder Jessica Phillips hit her second grand slam of the season, highlighting the Binghamton softball team’s split against visiting Niagara on April 3, at the East Gym complex. The Bearcats (11-8) took the first game, 7-2, but the Purple Eagles (8-10) rallied for a 5-4 victory in the nightcap.
Including the April 3 doubleheader, Phillips is hitting an America East Conference-best .500, has nine home runs and 31 RBI. She has hit safely in her last six games, which has included six home runs and her two grand slams. Phillips has also reached base safely in 18 straight games.
With Binghamton down 1-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning in the opener, the Bearcats loaded the bases for Phillips, who belted a 2-0 pitch over the center field fence. The Bearcats loaded the bases again and freshman second baseman Lisa Cutrona was hit by a pitch, increasing the lead to 5-1. Binghamton scored two more runs in the inning on a Niagara fielding error.
Junior pitcher Kristen Emerling got the win, going five innings and allowing just one earned run. Her record is now 4-2. Freshman pitcher Demi Laney tossed the final two scoreless innings, striking out five batters in the process. Julie DiMatteo took the loss, dropping her record to 0-4.
Junior outfielder Meghan Tucker went 2-for-3 in the first game.
In the nightcap, Phillips singled home a run in the bottom of the first inning, breaking open a scoreless game. Two innings later, Binghamton loaded the bases and senior first baseman Stephanie DeLuca was hit by a pitch. Cutrona followed with a walk, increasing the lead to 3-0.
Niagara got a pair of runs back in the top of the fourth inning. Kristin Sito scored on a ground out and Teresa Healy made it a one-run game when she scored on a sacrifice fly.
Senior Deannie Plemon doubled in a run in the bottom of the fourth inning, giving the Bearcats a 4-2 lead. The Purple Eagles, however, cut the deficit to 4-3 in the top of the fifth inning on a RBI double by Maggie McDonald.
The fateful inning for the Bearcats, however, was the top of the sixth. With two outs and runners on second and third base, the Bearcats made a costly fielding error, which allowed both the tying and go-ahead runners to score.
Binghamton left 11 runners on base in the nightcap, including two in the bottom of the sixth inning and one when the game ended an inning later.
Kim Bryson (4-4) was the winning pitcher while Kate Price (2-3) got tagged with the loss.