The Binghamton softball team traveled to Bryant over the weekend for its first matchup since the hosts joined the America East (AE) conference. The three-game series saw the Bearcats swiftly defeat their Bulldog opponents in each contest, allowing the hosts just two runs. The three-game sweep gave the Bearcats four straight wins, catapulting them to second place in the conference standings.
“When you come home with a sweep, it always means it was a big weekend,” wrote Binghamton head coach Jess Bump. “We have been playing some great softball, and I think we are starting to get on a roll at the right time.”
In game one on Saturday, the Bearcats (20-12, 7-4 AE) got off to a hot start, immediately plating three runs in the top of the first inning thanks to a homer from redshirt sophomore outfielder Brianna Santos. Bryant (11-23, 3-8 AE) was quick in its response, adding its only two runs of the weekend in the bottom of the frame. BU continued its offensive prowess, scoring 14 more runs in the contest, including nine in the final inning, and won the game 17-2. Junior pitcher Allison L’Amoreaux and sophomore outfielder Sarah Rende hit home runs of their own in the game as well. L’Amoreaux hit a two-run shot in the third, while Rende notched a grand slam in the fifth inning.
“We are a team that takes momentum and rides it, and I think you saw that out of our offense this weekend,” Bump wrote. “The behind-the-scenes hard work that people see is what I believe is bringing us in the right direction. All 20 of them have put in a lot of time, and that’s why you are seeing the results that you are from both our starters and reserves coming off the bench and having good at-bats.”
The teams continued its series later in the day for the second game of the doubleheader. Game two brought a much closer contest than the first, even though the Bulldogs were unable to plate any runs and were held scoreless by graduate student pitcher Sophia Pappas. The Bearcat threw for the full seven innings, striking out six batters and allowing just one hit in her first career shutout. BU’s offense slowed down in this game, however, scoring just three runs as a single from redshirt sophomore utility Lindsey Walter and a double from Santos assisted in the team’s second victory of the day.
“I think we have figured out a lot about ourselves the last three weeks or so,” Bump wrote. “We know the tempo we like to play at, our at bats are getting more competitive and our pitchers are continuing to keep us in games.”
Binghamton’s strong play continued into Sunday for the series’ final game. Despite both sides going scoreless for the first three innings, the Bearcats managed to break the game open in the fourth. L’Amoreaux plated two runs with a double and scored soon after to take a 3-0 lead. Freshman infielder Akira Kopec capped off the frame with a two-run homer that put the visitors up five. Three more runs in the final inning completed the contest and the 8-0 win for BU. Freshman pitcher Brianna Roberts earned her second win of the weekend, tossing three innings, allowing zero hits and striking out four. Roberts now sits at nine wins on the season, becoming the second Binghamton freshman to reach that mark since 2017.
“Our pitchers have done a great job all year for us,” Bump wrote. “All five bring something different to the table. This weekend [Roberts] and [Pappas] were dominant, so we didn’t have to pitch by committee as much as we have been, which is good knowing we may see Bryant in the tournament and still have some weapons they haven’t seen yet.”
Binghamton will return home for a nonconference doubleheader with Syracuse on Wednesday, April 19. First pitch for game one is set for 2:30 p.m. at the Bearcats Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.