A pair of walk-off losses and another feeble offensive output resulted in a frustrating weekend for the Binghamton University softball team, which opened conference play with three losses to defending champion Boston University. The Bearcats (7-14, 0-3 America East) fell in the final inning twice on Saturday and couldn’t claw back from an early 3-0 deficit on Sunday.
After going 2-for-44 at the plate on the final day of the Radford Invitational two weekends ago, Binghamton’s offense recorded five hits in the first three innings of Saturday’s opener against Boston (19-8, 3-0 AE). The Bearcats scored two runs with two outs in the third frame, taking a 2-0 lead.
After the Terriers pushed a run across in the fourth, junior Jessica Phillips homered in the sixth to give Binghamton a 3-1 lead. But the Bearcats couldn’t maintain their advantage.
Sophomore pitcher Demi Laney surrendered a solo home run to open the bottom of the seventh, and after retiring a batter, she allowed the game-tying home run. With two outs, Binghamton had an opportunity to send the game to extra innings, but sophomore Chelsey Locatell’s throwing error allowed the Terriers to extend the frame. The runner that reached on the error eventually scored the game-winning run on an infield single.
Binghamton head coach Michelle Burrell said her team put pressure on itself, when the pressure really should have been on Boston.
“We just need to have a better mentality going into that seventh inning,” she said. “Now that we’re outside and we’re playing a lot more, I think we’re going to be able to continue to … put ourselves in life-like situations.”
On Saturday afternoon, the Bearcats suffered the same end result, though the early innings panned out differently. Boston rallied for a 3-0 lead in the second inning, but Binghamton used a Phillips RBI single in the fourth and an RBI double by freshman Caytlin Friis in the fifth to pull within one.
The Terriers extended their lead to 4-2 in the sixth, but the Bearcats once again had an answer. In the top of the seventh, Boston’s fielding mistakes enabled Binghamton to put two runners on base and score two runs. A two-out single by sophomore Jessica Bump scored the tying run.
The poor fielding was contagious, however, as Binghamton senior Chelsea Horne’s error allowed the Terriers’ first batter of the seventh to reach. With no outs and the bases loaded, sophomore Mikala King committed a throwing error, allowing the winning run to cross the plate and the Terriers to take the game, 5-4.
Burrell said that although Boston is one of the better teams in the America East, the Terriers are still beatable.
“It was frustrating because we knew we were in [both games],” she said. “We just couldn’t hold on during that seventh inning, and that happened to us last year as well.”
On Sunday, Burrell was frustrated for a different reason. Her team’s offense has been inconsistent recently, and after combining for 13 hits in Saturday’s doubleheader, the Bearcats recorded just two in the series finale.
Boston rallied for three first-inning runs off junior Rhoda Marsteller. Though Marsteller would not allow another run, the Binghamton offense couldn’t muster the firepower to fight back, falling by a score of 3-0.
“On Saturday, our offense definitely was back,” Burrell said. “Now it’s just kind of keeping it consistent from day to day. We know it’s there, but we have to figure out what it is that brings it out each day.”
Falling into a 0-3 hole to start conference play isn’t ideal, but Burrell said her team has a series-by-series goal for the rest of the season.
“We know we’ve got to pick up a couple wins,” she said. “We’re just looking to win each series now, so that we’re either going 2-1 or 3-0 to help with the losses [from this weekend].”
The Bearcats are set to host Siena College at 3 p.m. today for a non-conference doubleheader and are scheduled to continue America East play on Saturday when they host University of Hartford.