Albany Wins 6th #AESB Championship
VESTAL, N.Y. – For the sixth time in program history, Albany is the America East champion. The second-seeded Great Danes beat fourth-seeded Maine, 6-1, in the 11th and deciding game of the 2017 America East Softball Championship on Sunday at Binghamton's Softball Complex. Earlier in the day, Maine forced a final game by beating Albany, 2-0.
The Great Danes earned America East's automatic bid to the 2017 NCAA Division I Softball Championship and will head to Tuscaloosa, Ala. for regional action and face host 16th-seeded Alabama in their first tourament game on Friday, May 19 at 5 p.m. on SEC Network. Minnesota and Louisiana Tech are the other teams in the Tuscaloosa Regional.
Devin Durando earned Most Outstanding Player honors after starring in the circle. She went 3-0 with a 1.70 ERA, allowing just four runs in 20 innings while striking out 13.
The two teams battled the elements in game two, waiting out a three hour and 15 minute rain and lightning delay. Maine jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first before the game was halted in the top of the third. Albany scored four times once play resumed with Chelsea Henige, an All-Championship selection, delivering the big blow, a three-run home run. The Great Danes scored twice more in the seventh to pad their lead and Durando went the distance in the circle, allowing just one run and stranding 10 Black Bear baserunners.
In the first game, Alyssa Derrick drove in both runs and Erin Bogdanovich hurled a complete-game shutout to force a deciding game. Derrick, an All-Championship selection, belted a solo homer in the third and delivered an RBI single in the fifth to account for game's only scoring. Bogdanovich worked out of trouble, stranding 10 Great Danes on the bases. The second-team All-Conference selection struck out 10.
Durando, Henige and Derrick are joined on the All-Championship team by Albany's Liz Snow and Sarah Petzold, Maine's Rachel Carlson and Meg Royle and Binghamton's Bridget Hunt and Kate Richard, Stony Brook's Jourdin Hering and Melissa Rahrich, Hartford's Isabella Gerone and UMBC's Kelly Lane.
Maine's Faith Goins and Erika Leonard shared the Elite 17 Award, given to the student-athlete with the highest GPA competing in the championship. Goins, a junior marine science major, and Leonard, a junior nursing major, have identical 3.83 GPAs.
Visit Championship Central for links to box scores, highlights and recaps from the entire 2017 America East Softball Championship.