Bearcats split doubleheader with Niagara

By wbng sports

April 18, 2014 Updated Apr 18, 2014 at 12:00 AM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Sophomore outfielder Sydney Harbaugh went 6-for-8 (.750) and drove in three runs as Binghamton (15-18) split a non-conference softball doubleheader against Niagara (11-21) on Thursday afternoon at the Bearcats Sports Complex. The Bearcats dropped the opener 5-3 but rallied to win the nightcap 6-5.

Harbaugh had three hits in each game as she extended her hitting streak to a season-high seven games. Sophomore first baseman Lisa Cadogan finished 2-for-6 (.333) and drove in a run.

Freshman outfielder Gabby Bracchi hit safely in each game and extended her hitting streak to a career-high 13 games. It marks the longest streak by a Binghamton player since Deannie Plemon reeled off her school-record, 17-game hitting streak from April 2-28, 2010.

Through five innings of the opener against Niagara, however, the Bearcats managed only a pair of hits off pitcher Kim Bryson. The Purple Eagles, meanwhile, scored three times in the fourth inning and twice more in the top of the sixth inning to take a 5-0 lead. Brittany Richberg led the way with a two-run double in the fourth inning and had a RBI on a fielder’s choice in the sixth inning.

Cadogan broke the shutout when she singled home a run in the bottom of the sixth inning. One inning later, Harbaugh had a two-out, two-run double to trim the deficit to 5-3. The Bearcats, however, left the winning run at the plate when the game ended.

Bryson improved her record to 1-5 while freshman pitcher Annika Wiesinger dropped to 4-9. Three of the runs allowed by Wiesinger, however, were unearned.

In the nightcap, the Purple Eagles jumped out to a 3-0 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth inning. Richberg had a RBI single in the top of the second inning and Ali VanGiesen led off the top of the fourth inning with her first home run of the year.

Binghamton struck back with four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Cadogan scored the first run on a wild pitch and junior shortstop Caytlin Friis tied the game with a two-run single. Harbaugh then doubled in Friis to give the Bearcats the lead.

One inning later, the Bearcats padded their lead to 5-3 when senior second baseman Jessica Bump scored on a sacrifice fly.

Down to its last out in the top of the seventh inning, Niagara tied the game on a two-run home run by Van Giesen. The Bearcats, however, were able to finish the game in the bottom of the frame on a RBI double by freshman outfielder Bridget Hunt. Scoring on the play was sophomore catcher Taylor Chaffee.

Wiesinger and Hogan were also the pitchers of record in the nightcap.

Hunt finished the second game 2-for-4 and also scored a run.

The Bearcats, who came into the week ranked second in the nation with 2.57 steals per game, had five stolen bases in the second game.

Binghamton opens up a three-game America East series against visiting Hartford with a noon doubleheader on Saturday.

(Courtesy: Binghamton University Athletics)

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