After dropping two of three games and scoring a total of 11 runs last weekend against UMBC, the Binghamton softball team’s offense came to life on Tuesday, as the team split a doubleheader against Colgate, scoring a combined 24 runs in the process.
Even though both games displayed a ferocious offensive performance by the Bearcats (12-15), the two contests were vastly different. Both teams displayed a thriving offense in the first game, including the Raiders (13-17) scoring six unanswered runs in the final two innings to complete a comeback victory by the score of 15-11. The 26 total runs tied the Bearcats Sports Complex Facility record set in a 16-10 Binghamton loss against Stony Brook in 2014.
Binghamton’s pitching was shaky to start the opening game, as freshman pitcher Sophia Pappas gave up five earned runs in the first two innings, including home runs to senior infielder Meghan Romero and junior outfielder Jordan Miller in the top of the first.
Pappas’ teammates picked her up as the Bearcats erased the early deficit. A three-run homer by junior catcher Sara Herskowitz, two run-scoring hits by sophomore infielder Makayla Alvarez and sophomore infielder Hannah Lyons and an RBI single by Pappas put the Bearcats up 9-5 after the third inning.
Colgate capitalized on an Alvarez error in the fourth inning, scoring four unearned runs against junior pitcher Rayn Gibson to tie the game at nine. Miller punctuated the inning with her second home run of the game.
The Bearcats retook the lead in the bottom of the frame thanks to Lyons’ second two-run hit of the game, but Binghamton failed to score again in the final three innings. The Raiders then teed off of Gibson, including home runs by junior infielder Nicole Rounsavill and freshman infielder Morgan Farrah. Gibson (5-7) took the loss, pitching five innings and surrendering up 10 runs (six earned) on 10 hits, two walks and six punch-outs.
“We kind of made some errors early in the game, and we gave [Colgate] some extra opportunities,” said BU head coach Michelle Johnston. “We just talked about making sure that we respond after having something like an error or home run happen.”
In the second game, BU’s offense continued where it left off after freshman pitcher Morgan Bienkowski allowed two runs in the top of the first. The Bearcats scored 13 combined runs in the first, third and fourth innings. The floodgates burst open in the fourth, as BU scored eight of its 13 runs in that frame.
After Lyons’ second RBI single of the game, Alvarez launched a two-run bomb. This was the second two-run homer of the game for Alvarez and was the first multi-homer game of her career. She finished the match with two runs, two hits and five RBIs, and now has five long-balls on the season.
Despite being the only Bearcat starter that didn’t record a hit in the first game, going 0-5, sophomore outfielder Lauren Martinez went 3-3 in game two, including a two-run double in Binghamton’s impressive fourth inning. This was Martinez’s second run-scoring double of the game. She later scored on a single by freshman utility player Alli Richmond. Herskowitz concluded Binghamton’s offensive barrage with a two-run shot, her second homer of the day.
Richmond made her season debut in the doubleheader, going 3-7 with two runs and one RBI on the day while playing second base.
“I really liked [Richmond’s] composure at the plate, and she did a good job defensively as well,” Johnston said.
Bienkowski (2-4) picked up her second win of the season with a gutsy performance. The freshman tossed a complete game while giving up five runs (two earned) on eight hits, four walks and three strikeouts. The three unearned runs all came in the final inning due to a Bienkowski throwing error. Johnston seemed impressed with the way Bienkowski pitched in the middle innings, but said she would have liked to see a smoother finish for her young pitcher.
After a tough defeat in game one, the Bearcats showed impressive grit in their dominant game two victory.
“I like the way we responded in the second game, and I felt like we just got really aggressive after some good pitches in game two,” Johnston said. “It resulted in us hitting the ball hard and with some power.”
Next for the Bearcats is a three-game series at Stony Brook. First pitch in the opening doubleheader on Saturday is set for 1 p.m. from University Field in Stony Brook, New York.