Down by one in the bottom of the sixth, the Binghamton softball team scored five runs in the sixth inning to secure a 6-2 win and a doubleheader sweep over Buffalo on Tuesday afternoon. The Bearcats (15-19) won the first game, 3-2.
“I thought we took advantage of some mistakes they made,” said BU head coach Michelle Johnston. “We were looking to be a little more productive early on in the games. As far as scoring runs, we didn’t come out with an attack mentality.”
Junior first baseman Jillian Bovitt knocked in two runs with a triple in the second inning, which decided the first game. Her lone hit put the Bearcats up, 3-1, a lead they never relinquished.
Freshman starting pitcher Rozlyn Price was credited with the win after holding Buffalo to three hits and one unearned run. She was relieved by sophomore pitcher Makenzie Goluba, who pitched two innings. Sophomore pitcher Allison Pritchard earned the save after pitching the sixth inning.
“I’m just working for my team [by] trying to hit singles and get on base,” Bovitt said. “That way the top of the lineup can work through with me. It’s honestly kind of nice being at the bottom of the lineup; it’s not a lot of pressure, and I get to see everyone else’s at bats first.”
Buffalo sophomore pitcher Bobbi Langlois allowed just one run in five innings pitched, but began to struggle late. Freshman pinch runner Stephanie Ragusa stole second and junior infielder Kate Richard hit a single with one out in the bottom of the six. Senior right fielder Bridget Hunt laid down a bunt for a single. Hunt then stole second on a defensive indifference, and senior shortstop Crysti Eichner hit a sac fly to left field that scored Ragusa and Hunt due to a Buffalo error, giving the Bearcats a one-run advantage.
After going down 2-0 in the first inning, the Bearcats’ pitching staff forced tough at bats early with senior designated hitter Gabby Bracchi working a leadoff walk and stealing second to put herself in position to score off junior center fielder Jessica Rutherford’s single. This early aggressive play, combined with freshman pitcher Rayn Gibson’s pitching performance, set the table for the Bearcats’ five-run sixth inning.
“Our team is just working really well together; we’re really good at rallying at the last moment,” Bracchi said. “We’re really working for each other out there.”
Senior Shelby Donhauser won the second game after pitching two scoreless innings in the fifth and six. She struck out one and allowed no hits. The Bearcats’ five pitchers combined for 10 strikeouts and just one earned run.
“We were looking to come back and respond after the weekend against UMass Lowell, and it was good to see them do that,” Johnston said.
The Bearcats are set to play a three-game series against Hartford with this weekend. First pitch is set for Saturday at 1 p.m. from the Hartford Softball Field in West Hartford, Connecticut.