In its second road trip of the season, the Binghamton softball team headed to St. George, Utah, looking to come out on top in its first game in almost two weeks. It took the Bearcats (3-8) three days and five games, though, to record a win.
BU (3-8) started off the five-game stint Friday against a strong Nevada team. Nevada (12-6) jumped to a 3-0 in the second inning. The Wolf Pack tacked on another five runs before the end of the game to best Binghamton, 8-0.
BU’s second game of the day — against Southern Utah — turned out to be much more competitive. The Thunderbirds (2-11) scored in the first and third inning to take a 4-0 lead. However, the Bearcats rallied back in the top of the sixth inning to bring them into contention.
Junior outfielder Jessica Rutherford singled home a run before being driven in on a two-run single by senior infielder Crysti Eichner. With Eichner’s single, the Bearcats came within a run of tying the score. However, the game ended in the seventh when BU left its tying run stranded at third base.
Eichner and Rutherford have had notable careers in BU. Now upperclassmen with years of experience under their belt, this season has the potential to be the best yet.
“We’re looking for them to work to be as consistent as they can,” said BU head coach Michelle Burrell Johnston. “We’re not trying to put too much pressure on them just because they are juniors and seniors.”
Play resumed on Saturday against Utah, followed by Utah State. The Utes (13-3) took an early 3-0 lead in the first two innings, but BU cut it to 3-2 in the top of the third inning. The Utes scored another four runs throughout the remainder of the game to secure a 7-2 victory.
BU logged a better outing against Utah State (12-4). BU found itself up, 6-3, in the fifth inning, thanks to four RBIs and two runs from senior outfielder Bridget Hunt. However, Utah State forced extra innings and went on to win, 8-6.
Despite the loss, Hunt recorded an impressive day at the plate, going 5-for-7 on the day with four RBIs and two runs scored.
“Bridget’s one of the hardest workers on the team,” said Burrell Johnston. “I’m just really happy to be seeing some positive results from her efforts.”
The Bearcats closed out their weekend with a game against UNLV on Sunday. They turned in their best performance of the tournament, jumping out to an early 5-0 lead after three innings. The Bearcats’ offense recorded 13 hits during the game.
Junior infielder Kate Richard blasted a long two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning. UNLV (12-7) managed to scrape another run together in the seventh inning, but BU coasted home to a 7-2 win.
With the win, freshman pitcher Rozlyn Price improved to 2-1 in her rookie season. Both Price and freshman Rayn Gibson are new additions to the Bearcats’ pitching staff, and Burrell Johnston is pleased with what she has seen thus far.
“We’re really excited about what we think they’re going to bring, and how they are going to develop as well,” Burrell Johnston said. “I really like their composure on the mound because they’re so young.”
The Bearcats are set to play in the Tiger Clash tournament. BU is scheduled to face Morgan State on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at the Tiger Softball Complex in Towson, Maryland.