Playing against elite competition at Arizona State/Wilson DeMarini Invitational, the Binghamton softball team went 1-4 over the weekend, beating North Dakota 8-5 on Saturday for its sole win. Losses to East Carolina, No. 3 Arizona State, No. 20 Baylor and North Carolina rounded out the Bearcats’ weekend.
The Bearcats (2-7) kicked off play on Friday against East Carolina (8-11). In the top of the third inning, BU freshman outfielder Sydney Harbaugh, who finished the game 1-for-2 with a pair of walks, scored on a triple by senior outfielder Jessica Phillips. Freshman catcher Lisa Cadogan then drove in Phillips with a single, giving Binghamton a 2-0 lead.
But the Pirates pushed across two runs in the bottom of the frame to tie the game.
Binghamton had the bases loaded in the fourth but couldn’t take advantage, and the score remained tied until the bottom of the ninth inning, when ECU junior Jill Jelnick delivered her fourth hit of the game to drive in the decisive run of her team’s 3-2 victory.
Later in the day, Arizona State freshman pitcher Alexis Cooper allowed just one run on two hits to lead the Sun Devils (21-1) past Binghamton 9-1 in five innings. The game marked the first time Binghamton has played a nationally ranked opponent in its Division I history.
Cadogan and junior pinch hitter Chelsey Locatell combined for Binghamton’s two hits, and Locatell’s second-inning single drove in Cadogan for the Bearcats’ only run.
Arizona State scored three runs in each of the first three innings, chasing senior starting pitcher Rhoda Marsteller from the game after one frame of work. Marsteller allowed six runs, though only three were earned, and surrendered five hits and four walks.
On Saturday, Binghamton picked up its second win of the season, defeating North Dakota (7-10) 8-5.
Freshman first baseman Tiffany McIntosh and junior second baseman Jessica Bump each hit two-run home runs, and junior third baseman Mikala King finished with three RBI. Senior pitcher Kate Price earned her first win of the season.
The Bearcats faced off with No. 20 Baylor (19-3) later in the day, however, and were unable to faze freshman pitcher Heather Stearns. The Bearcats didn’t score against Stearns until the top of the sixth, when Harbaugh brought in a runner with a bunt to bring the score to its final state, 6-1.
According to Binghamton head coach Michelle Burrell, the team came together in Sunday’s tournament finale against North Carolina (15-6), though it ultimately fell 7-4.
In the third inning, Cadogan evened the score at one with a RBI double. Then, in the sixth inning, after North Carolina had taken a 4-1 lead, freshman catcher Taylor Chaffee hit a double to tack on another Bearcat run before King doubled to knock in two more and tie the score at 4-4.
But in the bottom of the sixth inning, North Carolina freshman second baseman Erin Satterfield blasted a three-run home run to left center. The Bearcats left the tying run at the plate to end the game.
North Carolina junior Lori Spignola had nine strikeouts, giving up five hits and one walk.
In general, Burrell said her team’s defense needs to improve. The Bearcats committed seven errors and allowed six unearned runs on the weekend.
“We kept our energy positive after Saturday’s losses, and the girls did a good job adjusting offensively,” Burrell said. “We had two big hits during the [North Carolina] game, and I think Mikala and our freshmen played really well, coming up with some clutch hits during the North Carolina and North Dakota games. We need to stay positive, and play together as a team.”
Binghamton is set to return to game action at the Maryland/Miken Invitational this weekend. The Bearcats are scheduled to play three games and kick off the weekend against St. John’s at at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Robert E. Taylor Stadium.