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Softball defeats Hartford 7-1 in first round of AE Tournament

VESTAL, N.Y.  Host Binghamton (30-15) scored six times in the bottom of the sixth inning en route to a 7-1 win over Hartford (21-33) in an America East Tournament first-round game on Thursday afternoon at the Bearcats Sports Complex. With the victory, the Bearcats advance to the winners bracket in the double-elimination tournament and will face Albany on Friday at 11 a.m.

Binghamton had been held to just two hits through the first five innings against the Hawks. That all changed in their final offensive inning of the game, as the Bearcats stroked a pair of doubles and three singles to break open the game.

I thought we kept our composure during the game, head coach Michelle Burrell said. We came out tight but were finally able to approach our at-bats a lot better later in the game.

Sophomore shortstop Caytlin Friis gave the Bearcats a 1-0 lead when she doubled home junior third baseman Mikala King. Melani Maxwell, however, tied the game in the top of the fifth inning with her third home run of the season.

King got the sixth inning started with a one-out double. Two batters later, she was singled home by freshman pinch hitter Griffin McIver.

Freshman outfielder Sydney Harbaugh made 3-1 when she drew a bases-loaded walk. After a RBI single by freshman designated hitter Tiffany McIntosh stretch the lead to 4-1, fellow freshman Lisa Cadogan drove in another run on a sacrifice fly. Senior outfielder Jessica Phillips then finished the scoring with a two-run double.

Senior pitcher Kate Price improved to 6-4 with the win while Zuzana Kudernatschova took the loss and is now 14-13. Starting pitch Demi Laney went the first five innings, scattering one run on five hits and striking out four batters.

Phillips now has 122 career RBI. That ties her for first place all time in program history with Deannie Plemon (2008-11).

Binghamton has reached the 30-win total for just the second time in school history and the first time during its 12-year NCAA Division I era. Back in 1995, the then Colonials went 37-8.

(Courtesy Binghamton Athletics)

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