Saturday, May 13, 2006


Orono, Maine -- Casey Halloran scattered six hits in seven strong innings on the mound to lead UAlbany to its second consecutive America East Conference championship with a 5-2 victory over Boston University on Saturday, May 13. The four-team, double-elimination tournament was held at the University of Maine’s Kessock Field.

UAlbany (36-11-1) also earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season with the conference’s automatic berth. The Great Danes, who set a school record for single-season wins, will find out their opponent on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET. The 64-team field will be announced on ESPNews with regional play scheduled for May 19-21.

Boston U. (29-29) set up the championship game by winning two games in the loser’s bracket earlier in the day. The Terriers, who were attempting to become the first No. 4 seed to win the conference title, eliminated UMBC, 2-1, as Christy Leath delivered a bases-loaded single in the seventh inning. In a 3-1 win over UAlbany, Leath had a two-run double in the third, while teammate Liz Alley smacked her 10th home run of the season.

In the championship, the second-seeded Great Danes broke up a 1-1 deadlock with a three-run fourth. Freshman Meagan Butsch put her team ahead with a sacrifice fly, but then a throwing error by the center fielder scored another run. Julie Gannon then belted her second homer of the spring, a solo shot, for a 4-1 lead.

Shortstop Maegan Larsen led off the fifth inning by drilling a 1-1 pitch over the left-field fence, her team-leading 10th home run. Larsen, who chased starting pitcher Cassidi Hardy with that blast, and second baseman Katrina Dunning both had two hits in the contest.

Meanwhile, Halloran cruised along with a seven-strikeout, no-walk performance to improve to 27-8 on the season. She was named the championship’s most outstanding player by posting a 3-1 record with 31 strikeouts in tournament play. UAlbany’s Ali Meacham, Amber Maisonet and Larsen joined her on the all-tournament squad.

“I thought going in that it would go two (games) today,” said UAlbany coach Chris Cannata, whose team faced Boston U. in the championship game for the third time in the last four years. “I was hoping that Casey (Halloran) would be fresh. You really have to ride your ace at the end and she certainly wants the ball every day.”

Leath, a freshman catcher, accounted for both of Boston University’s runs, as she went 3-for-3 at the plate in the final. She hit her fourth home run of the year in the first inning and added a RBI double in the sixth.

“We were nervous after the first game today,” offered Halloran, who became the school’s all-time strikeouts leader with 408 to break the previous mark established by Kelly Poynton from 1997-99. “But we realized it (the championship) was ours to win. It’s not like I threw a no-hitter out there. I gave up a bunch of hits and my team just made plays behind me.”


America East Conference Tournament - Championship

UAlbany (36-11-1) 100 310 0 - 5 8 0

Boston U. (29-29) 100 001 0 - 2 6 1

Casey Halloran and Ali Meacham.

Cassidi Hardy, Brittany Detweiler (5) and Christy Leath.

America East Conference Tournament - Third Round

Boston U. (29-28) 002 100 0 - 3 6 0

UAlbany (35-11-1) 000 100 0 - 1 3 0

Cassidi Hardy and Christy Leath.

Casey Halloran and Ali Meacham.

America East Conference Softball Championship Bracket
Thursday, May 11
Game 1: #2 Albany 8, #3 UMBC 0
Game 2: #4 Boston University 11, #1 Maine 1
Friday, May 12
Game 3: Albany 2, Boston U. 1
Game 4: UMBC 5, Maine 1 (Maine eliminated)
Game 5: Boston U. 2, UMBC 1 (UMBC eliminated)
Saturday, May 13
Game 6: Boston U. 3, Albany 1
Game 7: Albany 5, Boston U. 2 (Boston U. eliminated)

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