The Binghamton softball team opened its 2021 season with a sweep against St. Bonaventure over the weekend, taking the first game 8-0 and recording its first no-hitter since 2016. The Bearcats also won the second game, defeating the Bonnies 7-3 to win both ends of the doubleheader.

“All of our pitchers threw today, it was collectively a great day for them, they stayed composed,” said Binghamton assistant coach Jessica Bump. “Our game plan was to pound the zone, and I think for the most part they did a good job of that and our defense came up with some great plays when we needed it today. So again just collectively a great team effort, but obviously proud of our pitchers for the work they’ve put in the last few weeks.”

In the first game of the series, redshirt senior pitcher Rayn Gibson started for the Bearcats (2-0) with five strikeouts over three innings. Junior pitchers Sophia Pappas and Morgan Bienkowski came in for relief and pitched one inning each.

“I love to see [the team continuing the no-hitter], we really complement each other so well,” Gibson said. “It’s amazing to be able to go from pitcher to pitcher and know everyone is going to go where you last picked up.”

In the second game of the series, the Bearcats scored five runs in the fifth inning to power themselves to a 7-3 win. Pappas led the way for the Bearcats with three RBIs with a double for the Bearcats in the fifth inning. However, St. Bonaventure scored two runs in the seventh inning, and the bases were loaded. A Bonnies player hit the ball out to centerfield, but Gibson, who came off the bench to play centerfield in the seventh inning, was able to make the catch to secure the win for the Bearcats.

“[Bump] gave me a warning that it’s possible I may go out there, so I was mentally prepared and when she told me I was going out there in the last inning I was really excited,” Gibson said. “I’ve been practicing out there a little bit, so just having fun, it was so much fun, and making that catch was so fun. Everyone supporting me behind it was amazing, it’s just the best feeling ever. I’ve never played centerfield before, so that was the first [catch], and so that was really great.”

The Bearcats are set to open conference play next weekend against Stony Brook. The first pitch is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 27 at University Field in Stony Brook, New York.