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Bearcats Softball earns #3 seed in Tounrnament with 5-4 win over Maine

VESTAL, N.Y. – Freshman Stephanie Bielec singled home the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning, lifting Binghamton (20-18, 10-6 AE) to a 5-4 win over Maine (20-19, 10-7 AE) in an America East softball game on Saturday afternoon at the Bearcats Sports Complex Softball Facility. With the victory, the Bearcats take two out of three games in the conference series and clinch the No. 3 seed in the upcoming America East Tournament. Binghamton will face No. 2 Albany in a first-round game on Thursday at 3:30 p.m.

The Bearcats and Black Bears went into extra innings for the second time this weekend. With one out in the bottom of the eighth, sophomore outfielder Gabby Bracchi reached on a fielding error and junior Sydney Harbaugh followed with a walk. Bielec then stroked a single into right-center field, bringing Bracchi home with the winning run.

Binghamton had been trailing 4-2 entering the bottom of the seventh inning. With one out, however, junior catcher Lisa Cadogan clubbed a two-run home run over the center field fence. It was her team-best ninth home run of the season. In addition, it upped her program-record RBI total to 48.

Sophomore pitcher Shelby Donhauser came on in relief in the top of the sixth inning. She tossed 2.1 scoreless innings to raise her record to 3-6 on the season. The loss was tagged to Lauren Flowers, who is now 3-5.

Bielec finished the day 3-for-4 while Cadogan was 2-for-3 and freshman outfielder Jessica Rutherford went 2-for-4.

The Black Bears got solo home runs by Jessica Burk and Felicia Lennon.

For the series, Rutherford went 6-for-11 to hit a team-best .545. She is now batting .352 for the season. Cadogan, meanwhile, was 5-for-10 and upped her average to a career-best .438.

Binghamton, which has won seven out of its last nine games, reaches the 20-win total for the sixth season in a row. The Bearcats also advance to their third consecutive America East Tournament as well as their fourth in the past five seasons.

(Courtesy: Binghamton University Athletics)