Sunday, April 19, 2009

Gina Mason's Grand Slam Sparks 14-Run Outburst in University of Albany Softball's Eighth Straight Victory vs Binghamton - UAlbany Sports 2009

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Vestal, N.Y. – Gina Mason hit her second career grand slam in the top of the first inning to spark the biggest offensive outburst in over three years and lead the UAlbany softball team to a 14-0 victory over Binghamton in America East Conference action at East Gym Field on Sunday, April 19. The Great Danes extended their winning streak to eight games and ended the weekend in sole possession of second place in the league standings with the victory.

UAlbany scored its first four runs of the game with only one out in the top of the first. Nicole Kothe singled to right field, Meagan Butsch drew a walk and Jess Bergin loaded the bases on a bunt single to set the stage for Mason. The sophomore’s blast down the left field line was her fifth of the season and 10th of her career. It was also her first grand slam since going yard with the bases loaded in a six-RBI effort against Boston University on May 3, 2008.

After Leah McIntosh struck out the side, UAlbany added four more runs in the top of the second. Bailey Van Deest and Kristine Bill each singled, and Andrianna Walraven sacrificed them over to second and third. Kothe then drove in both runners on a single to left. Butsch and Bergin followed up with doubles to chase pitcher Cyrilla Suker out of the game with only one out in the frame.

Kristen Emerling, who came in to relieve Suker, also struggled out of the gates. Mason was hit by a pitch, and a wild pitch thrown to Michelle Connors (Shenendehowa) allowed Bergin and Mason to advance to second and third. Connors drew a walk, but a passed ball on the final pitch allowed Bergin to slide in safely for the ninth run. Mason capped the scoring in the frame when she came home on a groundout by Kat Smith.

Binghamton (5-29, AE 0-14) had its best chance to score in the bottom of the second. Stephanie DeLuca led off with a walk, and advanced to third on a double to left field by Deannie Plemon. However, McIntosh settled down by striking out the next three batters to get out of the jam.

The Great Danes loaded with the bases with nobody out in the third for Butsch, and the cleanup hitter came through with a two-run single to plate Diane MacDowell and Walraven. Bergin then reached on an infield error which allowed Stephanie Talerico and Butsch to score before Emerling was able to get out of the inning with the Bearcats trailing by 14. Powell pitched two shutout innings to close out the game.

UAlbany’s McIntosh improved to 16-1 with the victory. She hurled three innings and recorded six strikeouts while allowing only two hits and a walk. Powell pitched the final two frames, surrendering one hit and striking out two. McIntosh and Powell have now combined to throw 44 straight innings without allowing an earned run to score.

Binghamton’s Suker suffered the loss to drop to 2-13 overall. In 1.1 innings of work, she gave up eight hits and nine earned runs. Emerling pitched the remaining 3.2 innings. She gave up four hits, five runs (four earned), issued four walks and struck out five.

The Great Danes recorded their highest run total since defeating Mount Saint Mary’s, 14-9, on March 17, 2006. The 14 runs matched a program high for an America East game and equaled the third-best mark in the program’s Division I era.

UAlbany (28-10, AE 9-3) will look to extend its winning streak to as many as 10 games when Vermont visits Albany Field on Wednesday, April 22 for an America East doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m.

UAlbany (28-10, AE 9-3) 464 00 14 12 1
Binghamton (5-29, AE 0-14) 000 00 0 3 1

UAlbany: Leah McIntosh and Kat Smith, Liz Noto (3).
Binghamton: Cyrilla Suker, Kristen Emerling (2) and Deannie Plemon.

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