For the first time since 2009, Stony Brook is the America East softball regular-season champion. The Seawolves will be the No. 1 seed for next week's America East Softball Championship and host the tournament, which will also feature second-seeded Albany, third-seeded Binghamton and fourth-seeded UMBC.
The three-day, double-elimination tournament will take place May 8-10 at Stony Brook's University Field.
Stony Brook (32-16, 15-2 AE), whose .882 America East winning percentage is its best in the 13 seasons in the league, won two out of three at Binghamton this weekend to claim its first regular-season crown since 2009. The defending champion Seawolves won game one of the series, 2-0, on Friday behind a complete-game shutout from Allison Cukrov, then won a slugfest, 16-10, in the nightcap before the Bearcats took the finale, 6-4 Saturday.
Albany (29-10, 14-3 AE) swept UMBC by scores of 8-0, 5-3 and 6-1 over the weekend to earn the No. 2 seed. Winner of four America East titles since 2005, the Great Danes will enter the tournament winners of nine in a row and lead the league in hitting (.294) and team ERA (2.51).
Binghamton (21-23, 10-7 AE) will aim for its first-ever league title after reaching the conference tournament for the third time in the last four years. The Bearcats, who won 20 games for the fifth-straight year after going seven seasons without doing so, lead the league slugging .470 as a team.
UMBC (31-20, 8-9 AE) is in the tournament field for first time since 2011. Seeking its first-ever America East title, the Retrievers are in the midst of their best season since 2009 when they won 34 games.
On Thursday, Stony Brook will face UMBC at 1 p.m. and Albany will take on Binghamton at 3:30 p.m.. Following Thursday's doubleheader, three games will be played Friday, while the championship game (games if necessary) will take place Saturday. The league champion will receive an automatic bid to the 2014 NCAA Softball Championship.