Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Sophomore outfielder Sydney Harbaugh has been named the America East Softball Player of the Year. The announcement was made by the America East on Wednesday evening. In addition, four other Bearcat players earned all-conference honors, three were named all-rookie and two were selected to the all-academic team.
Harbaugh was joined on the first team by senior second baseman Jessica Bump and sophomore first baseman Lisa Cadogan. Senior pitcher Demi Laney and sophomore catcher Taylor Chaffee made the second team.
Freshmen outfielders Gabby Bracchi and Bridget Hunt along with freshman third baseman Crysti Eichner were named to the conference’s all-rookie team. Bump and senior outfielder Colleen Dougherty, meanwhile, earned all-academic honors.
“The America East honors show the true dedication and hard work that our players put forth each day,” head coach Michelle Burrell said. “They should be proud of their individual accomplishments but in the end we know that it takes everyone’s efforts to help this team win a championship.”
Harbaugh is the second Binghamton player in four years to earn the conference’s top individual honor. Jessica Phillips was named the Co-Player of the Year in 2011.
A repeat selection to the first team, Harbaugh currently ranks fourth in the America East with a .376 batting average, 31 RBI and a .442 on-base percentage. She is also tied for second with 27 stolen bases. In addition, her .465 batting average in conference games was the highest in the America East this season.
“Sydney has worked very hard this year and has truly stepped up for the team,” head coach Michelle Burrell said. “She has done an excellent job in the leadoff spot by starting us with good at-bats and creating momentum for the rest of the lineup. She has focused on getting stronger and faster and it has helped her improve as a player.”
Bump also returns to the first team for the second straight year. She is hitting .308 with seven home runs and 26 RBI and leads the conference with 33 stolen bases. Bump also makes the All-Academic Team for the third consecutive season.
Like Harbaugh and Bump, Cadogan is on the first-team for the second straight year. She is tied with Bump for second on the team with seven home runs and ranks third with 31 RBI.
Chaffee makes her first all-conference appearance. She is currently tied for seventh in the America East in batting (.321) is tied for third with 10 home runs and is third with 36 RBI. In addition, she ranks second in the conference with a .668 slugging percentage.
Laney, who was named to the first team last season, went 13-10 with a 3.20 ERA. She fired three shutouts, including a 1-0 win on Feb. 14 at South Florida, a team that was receiving votes in the national polls.
Bracchi, who tied the school record with a 17-game hitting streak earlier in the season, ranks sixth in the conference with a .328 batting average. She is the current America East Player of the Week and hit .411 in conference games this year.
Hunt is tied for seventh in the conference with a .321 batting average. She has also hit six home runs and has 21 RBI.
Eichner has a home run and 15 RBI so far this season. She also has turned in seven multiple-hit games and three multiple-RBI performances.
Dougherty makes her first appearance on the all-academic team. She is hitting .276 and ranks fourth on the team with 13 stolen bases.
Binghamton (21-23) is the No. 3 seed in the upcoming America East Tournament. The Bearcats face No. 2 Albany in a first-round game on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. Stony Brook is the top seed and host team for the double-elimination event.
(Courtesy: Binghamton University Athletics)