Binghamton softball wins eighth straight before falling in nightcap

The Binghamton softball team’s 7-3 victory over St. Bonaventure Wednesday extended its winning streak to eight games, but a 10-8 loss in the nightcap put an end to the Bearcats’ run.

Franz Lino/Contributing Photographer Senior outfielder Jessica Phillips, who went 3-for-7 against St. Bonaventure, belted the 43rd home run of her career on Wednesday.

Binghamton (19-12, 8-1 America East) has only strung together eight consecutive wins one other time in program history, in March 2010.

“I think as a team, we did not celebrate much because one of our mottos is to take each game one at a time,” Binghamton head coach Michelle Burrell said. “I do not think we even thought about the winning streak; instead we just played the next game like it was any other.”

Binghamton junior second baseman Jessica Bump led the Bearcats in the opener, scoring in the first and third innings before putting the game on ice with a three-run homer in the fourth. She finished the doubleheader 4-for-8 with a 1.000 slugging percentage.

“Bump has just been doing a phenomenal job for us on the field — she has such an amazing drive,” Burrell said. “She has also been working hard in the long run.”

Senior left fielder Jessica Phillips, meanwhile, extended her career-best hitting streak to 12 games after finishing the day 3-for-7 with a homer.

“Phillips has been working extremely hard,” Burrell said. “I think she was struggling earlier in the season with her performance at bat, but has really picked herself up … with the amount of effort and staying focused at the plate.”

Other notable performances came from junior third baseman Mikala King, who went 3-for-6 on the day, and junior outfielder Colleen Dougherty and freshman first baseman Lisa Cadogan, who each finished 3-for-7. The Bearcats combined for a .350 team batting average over the two contests.

In Game 2, Phillips propelled the Bearcats to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first with her program-best 43rd career home run. But in the bottom of the inning, BU committed three errors that led to two St. Bonaventure runs. Then, in the fourth inning, the Bearcats made three more errors resulting in four more Bonnies runs.

In the fifth inning, Cadogan tied the game with a three-run homer before freshman pinch hitter Griffin McIver put Binghamton in front 7-6 with a single that scored Phillips.

The dynamic of the game changed when the Bonnies exploded for four more runs in the bottom half of the same inning. Sophomore catcher Lauren Waite launched a two-run home run, and junior outfielder Ashley Snider added a two-run triple to extend St. Bonaventure’s lead to three.

But the Bearcats were still in the game in the seventh inning when Phillips hit a sacrifice fly to bring the score to 10-8. With the tying run on first base, though, the Bonnies managed to get the final out of the game and escape with the victory.

“I do not think we handled ourselves like we could have in the early start of the game,” Burrell said. “We did not let go of the first few errors, therefore the momentum was not kept in a good way. We gave up a lot of runs earlier in the game, but we were able to come back toward the end of the game. Mentally, we have to learn to let our mistakes go. We are looking forward to playing Hartford this weekend and being able to respond from our loss to step things up in the next game.”

Up next for the Bearcats is a three-game conference series with Hartford. Saturday’s doubleheader is scheduled to start at 1 p.m., and the final game of the series is set for noon on Sunday.