Albany, Maine Advance to #AESB Championship Finals
VESTAL, N.Y. – For the second straight year, Albany and Maine will play for the America East softball title after the two teams posted wins Friday at the Bearcats Softball Complex to remain standing as the last two teams alive in the tournament.
Fourth-seeded Albany defeated second-seeded Maine, 8-2, in the day's first game to remain unbeaten in the championship. The Black Bears bounced back with a 2-1 victory over top-seeded Binghamton in the loser's bracket final to reach the championship game for the second-straight year. The Bearcats had beaten Stony Brook, 11-4, to stay alive earlier in the day.
Devin Durando limited Maine to just two runs in a complete-game effort and helped send Albany to the championship game out of the winner's bracket. The Great Danes never trailed, scoring twice in the third and three times each in the fifth and sixth. Chelsea Henige hit a two-run home run and America East Player of the Year Liz Snow reached base four times and scored three runs.
Meg Royle crushed a solo home run to left field in the third inning to give Maine a 2-1 lead and Molly Flowers made the lead hold up as Maine advanced to the championship game. Flowers worked out of trouble all day, stranding 13 Bearcat baserunners while allowing just one run while striking out five in a complete game effort. Alyssa Derrick had two hits, including an RBI double in the first for Maine.
Jill Bovitt's two-run single in the home half of the fifth proved to be the difference as Binghamton staved off elimination with a win over Stony Brook. Both teams plated a pair of runs in the first inning, but Bearcats got two in the third and two more in the fifth on Bovitt's single. Stony Brook got two back in the sixth, but Binghamton scored five times in sixth to blow the game open. Bridget Hunt was 2-for-2 with 2 RBI and two runs scored for Binghamton.
Albany and Maine will play for the league title on Saturday at 3 p.m at Binghamton's Bearcats Softball Complex. The game will air on AmericaEast.TV with Roger Neel (play-by-play) and Sydney Harbaugh (analyst) on the call. With a win, the Great Danes would claim their sixth America East title. If Maine wins that game, the two teams would play immediately following to decide the champion.
Visit Championship Central for links to box scores and highlights from earlier games and watch live and live stats links for the championship round.