The Binghamton softball team continued America East (AE) play this weekend by splitting a four-game series at home against UAlbany. The Bearcats were unable to win any games on Saturday but bounced back on Sunday to edge out 4-2 and 3-2 wins against the Great Danes.
“I really liked our fight today and how we bounced back,” said Binghamton assistant coach Jessica Bump. “After the game yesterday, we talked about how we needed to play for each other and be more aggressive offensively. I feel like we did that all day today.”
Heading into the last inning in the first Sunday game, the Bearcats (4-4, 1-4 AE) were trailing Albany (7-14, 2-4 AE) 2-0. The momentum began to shift in Binghamton’s favor as senior infielder and catcher Hannah Lyons hit an RBI double to put the Bearcats on the scoreboard, followed by another Binghamton RBI from senior infielder Madison Germano to tie the game at two. With a runner in scoring position, sophomore utility Quinn DeCicco was called into the game to pinch-hit. With a chance to win, DeCicco crushed a walk-off two-run homer to steal the game from Albany.
“I was so excited when I got called to pinch-hit,” DeCicco said. “We were working on inside pitches all week at practice. I knew that she was throwing inside and that’s my favorite pitch to hit so I knew I had to get my barrel out.”
Senior pitcher Chelsea Howard, who started in the first game on Sunday, held Albany scoreless in the first three innings and only allowed one run within six innings of play. Howard threw for four strikeouts in the contest. Prior to the walk-off home-run at the bottom of the seventh, Binghamton redshirt senior pitcher Rayn Gibson allowed no runs to the Danes in the final inning.
“[We] had some more fight in the last inning,” Bump said. “That last inning is what carried us into [the next Sunday game]. It was good watching [us] take the momentum into the next game.”
The second game on Sunday began with both teams scoring a run in the first inning. For the Bearcats, graduate student catcher Sara Herskowitz kicked off the scoring with a single RBI to tie the game in the first inning. The score wouldn’t change until the bottom of the fifth inning where Lyons belted the ball to right field for a triple as she drove in two runs to put Binghamton up 3-2. Despite opposing runners in scoring positions with only one out, freshman pitcher Hannah Mearns helped Binghamton close the second game on Sunday, defeating Albany 3-2 to complete the Sunday sweep.
“I changed my mentality from yesterday to today,” Mearns said. “I wanted to step out on that field [today] and have fun. I kept that [mentality] even through the hardest pressure situations which were crucial for me.”
Prior to Sunday’s heroics, the Bearcats were swept in the team’s first two meetings on Saturday, falling 11-2 in the opener and 6-2 in the nightcap. In the first Saturday game, Binghamton allowed a total of nine runs to the Great Danes in the first two innings. At the end of the second inning, the Bearcats trailed 9-1.
Although Binghamton came up short in the second game on Saturday, the Bearcats showed signs of improvement. Once again, the Great Danes struck first on the scoreboard as Binghamton gave up two runs in the second inning. The Great Danes worked off of their early success and built a 6-0 lead against Binghamton at the top of the sixth inning. Although Binghamton responded with two runs of their own in the sixth, Albany defeated Binghamton in the evening game 6-2.
“[Sweeping Sunday’s games] really shows how far we’ve come working together,” DeCicco said. “We didn’t really start the season how we wanted to so come back with these wins today was crucial for our confidence.”
Binghamton will travel to UMBC for its next four-game weekend series. The first pitch is set for noon on Saturday, April 10 at UMBC Softball Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland.