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Conference Regular Season Title at Stake as Softball Concludes Play With Binghamton Series

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Conference Regular Season Title at Stake as Softball Concludes Play With Binghamton Series

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ALBANY, N.Y. — The University at Albany softball team (33-12, 13-1 AE) will travel to Binghamton University (28-13, 13-2) to conclude regular season play in a series with huge implications. The two play a doubleheader on Saturday, May 4 followed by a third game on Sunday, May 5. First pitch is set for 1:00 p.m. and noon, respectively.

The Great Danes currently control a half-game lead over the Bearcats for the America East’s top seed. Winner of this series will be named conference regular season champions. Beyond the title, the winner will also claim the No. 1 seed for the 2013 America East Tournament — to take place Thursday, May 9 through Saturday, May 11. Location and times are TBD.

THE BATTLE FOR TOP SEED
The Great Danes have claimed the regular season conference title four times (2004, 2005, 2008 and 2011). The’ve won the conference tournament twice as the league’s top seed (’05 and ‘11). UAlbany’s other two conference titles came as the No. 2 seed in 2004 and No. 4 seed in 2007. The conference tournament champion earns an automatic bid into the NCAA Tourney.

SCOUTING BINGHAMTON
The Bearcats are led by four players batting over .300. As a unit, Binghamton holds a .302 batting average. Freshman Lisa Cardogan has started every game. She leads the team with a .358 batting average, including a conference-high 13 doubles and team-high 36 RBIs. Junior Jessica Bump holds a .354 batting average with 88 total bases and a team-best .677 slugging percentage. On the mound, sophomore Demi Laney and senior Rhoda Marsteller combine for a 23-9 record. Laney leads the staff with a 2.42 ERA. As a unit, they post a 2.76 ERA. UAlbany swept Binghamton last April in a three-game series at Albany Field. The own a 26-6 program record against the Bearcats. 

AMERICA EAST DOMINATION
As of last update, April 28, the Great Danes ranked first in the America East for team pitching and team fielding. They owned a league-best 2.39 ERA, allowing a conference low 68 walks and high 257 strikeouts. Their fielding percentage, .977, also ranks first. UAlbany’s .275 batting average trailed only Binghamton. They’ve lost just one conference game this season to Stony Brook. The Great Danes are guaranteed at least the No. 2 seed for postseason play.

REACHING 30 WINS
With a doubleheader sweep at Boston U. last Wednesday, UAlbany improved to the 30-win mark. Since moving to Division I play, the Great Danes have won at least 30 games in 10 of 12 seasons. With one conference series still to go, UAlbany currently holds their best America East Conference play winning percentage (.928) in program history. Junior Brittany MacFawn has a perfect 10-0 record against conference opponents.

REWRITING HISTORY ON THE MOUND
Brittany MacFawn (24-6) became the third player in program history to surpass the 500 career strikeout milestone. Her 248 K’s this season put her four away from Casey Halloran’s single-season record (252) set in 2006. The right-handed hurler is putting together a sensational season. As of April 28, MacFawn ranked just outside the top 20 nationally in terms of walks per seven innings (1.13). Her 11 complete game shutouts rank fourth. She tossed her third career no-hitter against Hartford to open up conference play on March 29. Less than a week later MacFawn threw a one-hitter against Siena — one out away from a perfect game.

SNAGGING BAGS
UAlbany has stolen a conference-high 87 bases in 2013. Leading the charge on the basepath is freshman Annie Johnson. In 44 games this season, she’s stolen 38 bases. Sophomore Vicky McFarland, who stole 23 bases last season, is second with 16 steals. Johnson has hit the national radar in terms of stolen bases. As of April 28, her .88 steal-per-game average ranked second in all of Division I softball.

DANES’ WIN STREAK SETS NEW PROGRAM RECORD
UAlbany won 14 consecutive games from March 15- April 7. Over the span, the Great Danes outscored opponents 107-41. They twice won on the eight-run mercy rule and strung together five shut-out victories. The team scored a season-high 14 runs twice, tying the second most for single-game runs in Division I program history (15 in 2004). Their 14-game win-streak set a Division I program record.


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