The Binghamton softball team traveled to face Colgate for a doubleheader on Tuesday. After shutting the Red Raiders out in game one, the Bearcats were held scoreless in game two as they split the series 1-1.

“Always good to get the split,” said Binghamton head coach Jess Bump. “Offensively we struggled to make adjustments a little bit, but we did get a few timely hits … [Colgate’s] bats got hot and we left a few pitches over the plate that they took advantage of.”

Game one saw graduate student pitcher Chelsea Howard get the start on the mound for BU (13-13). Colgate (12-16) had no answer for her pitching as the Bearcat threw seven shutout innings with four strikeouts and giving up only three hits. The Red Raiders were unable to get any runners in scoring position during her performance.

“[Howard] has a really good mindset right now and I think she’s consistent and she’s staying grounded,” Bump said. “Her pitches are working, and she’s hitting her spots so people aren’t barreling the ball up because she’s doing what she wants. She feels confident and I think that will continue throughout the rest of the year.”

Howard’s command on the mound took pressure off Binghamton’s offense which managed to score two runs in the first game. Senior utility Alli Richmond got the scoring started for the Bearcats with a solo home run in the fourth inning. The following inning, it was freshman outfielder Alayna Harbaugh who continued the scoring for BU’s offense with an RBI single to take a 2-0 lead. Harbaugh finished the game 2-3 at the plate as Binghamton hung on to win 2-0.

In game two, however, the Red Raiders turned the momentum around. The second contest started out slow with only one run being scored by either team after three innings. Despite the slow start, Colgate went on a seven-run rally in the bottom of the fourth, taking an 8-0 advantage. The Bearcats had no answer on offense, managing only three hits for the entire second game as the Red Raiders shut out BU 8-0.

“It’s a consistency thing right now,” Bump said. “I think we’ve continued to work on that as the seasons gone on, but I don’t really like to think too much about it. I think yesterday was an anomaly. We’ve been doing pretty good so we’re allowed to have some off days. So we’re just going to get back to work these next three days at practice before we head to Lowell.”

With conference play slated to begin this weekend, Binghamton will look to carry its success from the preseason. As of yesterday, Harbaugh ranks first in the America East (AE) in stolen bases with 13, and her .370 batting average ranks seventh in the conference. The freshman also sits at second in the conference in hits at 30.

“We’ve put together a pretty good preseason schedule,” Bump said. “We’re basically starting conference play 0-0, we’re .500 right now … I think just knowing that when we play our best, we can compete against anybody.”

The Bearcats enter AE conference play with a 13-13 record. Binghamton has only 18 players on the roster and as a result each athlete is forced to play many different positions. Bump said the athletes have to trust each other going forward.

“Just trusting our training, trusting each other,” Bump said. “Our team is really small, we’re using everybody in different roles, so just doing our best to stay together and have each other’s backs is gonna be really important the next few weeks.”

BU is slated to face UMass Lowell on Saturday, April 9 for a three-game weekend series. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the River View Field in Lowell, Massachusetts.