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Bearcats score early and often in Grand (Slam) Fashion

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VESTAL, N.Y. – Freshman third baseman Kate Richard and freshman outfielder Jessica Rutherford each drove in four runs, powering Binghamton (14-16, 5-5 AE) to an 11-6 win over Albany (23-11, 6-3 AE) in an America East softball game on Sunday afternoon at the Bearcats Sports Complex Softball Facility. With the victory, the Bearcats avoid being swept in the three-game weekend series.

Richards keyed a five-run bottom of the first inning with her first career grand slam. The Bearcats had been trailing 3-1 up to that point. Rutherford, however, drew a bases-loaded walk one batter earlier.

One inning later, Rutherford drilled a three-run triple, putting the Bearcats up 8-3.

The Great Danes, however, hit four home runs during the game. Vicky McFarland led off the game with a home run and Maggie Cocks hit a two-run shot in the same frame. In the top of the third inning, Kelly Costello led off with a home run, pulling Albany to within 8-4.

Sophomore outfielder Gabby Bracchi scored on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third inning but a two-run home run by Jess Tate in the top of the sixth inning trimmed the deficit to 9-6.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Bearcats plated a pair of unearned runs to give them breathing room. Freshman pinch runner Jill Bovitt scored on a throwing error and junior outfielder Sydney Harbaugh later scored on a sacrifice bunt.

Junior pitcher Cara Martin, who came on in relief in the fourth inning, improved to 7-4 with the win. Devin Durando, who was knocked out of the game following Rutherford's triple, fell to 11-3.

Freshman second baseman Stephanie Bielec went 2-for-4 and scored a pair of runs. Harbaugh was 1-for-3 with a walk and also scored a pair of runs.

As a team, Binghamton hit .338 during the series against Albany. Junior Lisa Cadogan was a team-best 4-for-7 (.571) and finished with four RBI. For the season, she is hitting a team-best .415 with eight home runs and 37 RBI. Bielec was 5-for-10 (.500) while Harbaugh was 4-for-8 and scored five runs.

Up next for Binghamton is a doubleheader at Colgate on Wednesday at 3 p.m.

NOTE: The attendance of 377 was a record for the Bearcats Sports Complex Softball Facility. This is the third year since since it opened.

(Courtesy: BU Athletics)