The Binghamton softball team struggled in its two matchups on Friday at the UNLV Tournament, dropping consecutive games to DePaul, 8-4, and New Mexico State, 13-3. But come Sunday, the Bearcats (3-5) rebounded to capture a victory against Seton Hall, 6-3.
BU fell behind early in its first game of the weekend against DePaul (13-4). Senior pitcher Demi Laney allowed two runs in the first inning and then retired the first two batters of the second only to allow back-to-back home runs in the ensuing at-bats. From there, DePaul tacked on an additional four runs in the next two innings to extend its lead to 8-0.
The score remained stagnant until sophomore outfielder Sydney Harbaugh smacked a bases-loaded double in the top of the fifth to drive in three runs. A groundout advanced Harbaugh to third, and sophomore catcher Taylor Chaffee doubled her in to cut DePaul’s lead to four. That was as close as BU would get.
The Bearcats suffered a similar fate in their second game of the afternoon, against New Mexico State (12-6). Freshman pitcher Annika Wiesinger received the start on the mound and never found her rhythm, allowing four earned runs while recording just four outs. Laney supplanted Wiesinger with one out in the second frame, allowing three earned runs over the following few innings. BU never managed to make the game competitive, losing by 10 runs in just five innings.
“We got down early in both games. I think that was one of the reasons [why we struggled on Saturday],” Binghamton coach Michelle Burrell said. “Our pitchers got hit pretty hard, but we needed to come up with some big plays behind them that we didn’t make. We just kind of gave up too many opportunities and a lot of runs.”
But on Sunday, the Bearcats’ pitching finally gained the lead. Seton Hall (3-11) surrendered an early run when senior second baseman Jessica Bump opened the game with a walk, stole second, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a sac fly by Chafee to give the Bearcats their first advantage of the weekend. Bump’s two-run homer in the third sparked a rally for the Bearcats, who then added four runs in the frame. Seton Hall scored three runs in the fifth, but Binghamton hung on to secure its victory.
“We wanted to get a win [on Sunday],” Burrell said. “I think we kind of worked to win every inning of that game. That was our approach when we went in.”
Bump ignited the Bearcat offense over the course of the weekend, recording four hits, five runs scored, a home run and two RBIs in the tournament.
“[Bump] did a really good job,” Burrell said. “She has been able to steal when she is on and she really got comfortable in the box toward the end of the weekend. I think she did a really good job of setting the tone for our offense.”
BU will return to action next weekend, scheduled for back-to-back double headers in the George Washington Tournament. The Bearcats are set to take on Howard University and George Washington on Saturday, followed by games against Wagner and GW again on Sunday. All games are scheduled to take place at the GW-Mount Vernon Athletic Complex in Washington, D.C.
Both first games are set for 10 a.m., followed by second contests at 2 p.m.