Thursday, May 10, 2007

Softball Upends Top-Seed Boston U. in First Round of America East Conference Championship

Boston, Mass. - Shortstop Meagan Butsch cracked a solo home run to lead off the top of the fourth inning that proved to be the difference as UAlbany earned a 2-1 win over top-seed Boston U. in the opening round of the America East Softball Championship on Thursday afternoon at Boston University Softball Field.

The Great Danes got on the board first in the third inning, as leftfielder Amber Maisonet knocked a two-out double to left field. Nicole Kothe was hit by a pitch in the next at-bat to put two runners aboard. Second baseman Michelle Connors, an all-conference rookie team selection, drove an RBI single up the middle to score Maisonet that gave her team a 1-0 lead.
Boston U. (34-13), the America East regular-season champion, responded in the bottom of the frame, as third baseman Brooke Hudson reached on a single through the middle of the infield. Second baseman Brandi Shields followed with a base hit to put runners in scoring position. Shayne Lotito reached on an error by UAlbany third baseman Kelly Ogden that allowed Hudson scored on the play. UAlbany’s Casey Halloran struck out Boston U.'s Rachel Hebert to end the inning with three runners left on base.
Halloran, a four-time all-conference hurler, tossed a complete game for the Great Danes, improving her record to 17-9. Halloran allowed just one unearned run, striking out eight in seven innings of work.
"It was a total team effort," said Halloran, who recorded her 14th complete game of the season. "My catcher called a great game, my first baseman was talking to me the whole time, my left fielder caught a ball at the fence and my shortstop hit a home run to win the game. I felt like I didn't have many strikeouts, but I felt my team was behind me all the way."
Butsch, who belted her sixth homer of the season, drew two walks in the game. Shields had two hits for the Terriers, who had won 18 of their 22 outings coming into the contest. Megan Currier, now 18-5 overall, tossed a complete game, fanning three in seven innings on the mound.
"It was a very well-played game by both teams," said UAlbany head coach Chris Cannata, who has led her team to six straight 30-win seasons and back-to-back America East championships. "It was a pitching duel the entire game. Casey got the outs for us when we needed them. There were a lot of base runners for both teams, and we bared down when the pressure was on."
UAlbany (31-15) will take on UMBC in the America East championship’s second round on Friday at 11:00 a.m.

America East Conference Softball Championship – First Round
UAlbany (31-15) 001 100 0 - 2 5 1
Boston U. (34-13) 001 000 0 - 1 4 1
Casey Halloran and Kat Smith. Megan Currier and Christy Leath.

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