Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton)
The Binghamton softball team (13-7) was able to hold off Siena (3-20) for two one-run victories, 7-6 and 2-1, to sweep its 2010 home opener at East Gym Field on Wednesday. The Bearcats have now won 11 of their last 13 games and are off to the best start through 20 games of Binghamton's nine-year Division I tenure.
"I thought we lacked some intensity today and we really need to focus on all seven innings," head coach Michelle Burrell said. "But it was good to get the two wins, considering we weren't on top of our game."
Binghamton 7, Siena 6
Both teams got on the board early in the opener, beginning with Siena posting three runs in the top of the first inning. It could have been more, but BU starter freshman Rhoda Marsteller was able to record a strikeout with the bases loaded to end the frame.
Juniors Stephanie DeLuca and Kelly Schuldt each recorded RBIs in the bottom of the second to cut back into Siena's lead, with the first coming on a bases-loaded walk and the second on a groundout.
After Siena's Shannon Jones hit a two-run homer in the second to push the lead to 5-2, the Bearcats responded with a four-run second, highlighted by a three-run homer over the center field fence by junior Deannie Plemon, her sixth of the year. With the blast, BU grabbed their first lead of the game 6-5.
Marsteller then settled in nicely, retiring 14 of the next 15 batters. The only batter she didn't send back to the dugout was Lauren Weingart, who hit a solo home run in the fifth inning to tie the game at 6-6.
With the game knotted up in the bottom of the sixth, two BU runners reached base aided by Siena errors, and then a groundout put the go-ahead run on third base. Senior Shannon McLeese would eventually score on a wild pitch with sophomore Briana Andrews at the plate with two outs for the game-winner.
Freshman Kate Price was then called out of the bullpen to close out the game as BU clung to a 7-6 lead in the top of the seventh. The tying runner reached base on an error and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, but Price forced the next two batters to ground out to close out the game.
Freshman Jessica Phillips was 2-for-3 in the opener with two runs scored and an RBI. Marsteller earned the victory and upped her record to 7-3.
Binghamton 2, Siena 1
Price was given the ball to start the second game, and pitched the first three innings, giving up one run in the first. BU answered the early run when DeLuca singled in senior Stephanie Valencia in the third inning.
Price was then lifted for sophomore pitcher Kristen Emerling, who pitched the next four innings, allowing no runs, two hits, one walk and striking out three.
With the game still tied in the bottom of the fifth, Valencia singled to start off the inning and again was plated by DeLuca for the go-ahead run and the eventual game-winner.
Emerling ran into some trouble in the top of the seventh with the tying run reaching third base, but was able to garner the final out on a weak popup to third base. Emerling improved her record to 6-1 on the season and lowered her ERA to 1.33.
On the day, DeLuca was 3-for-4 with three RBI.