Coming off a brutal 10-0 loss to Stony Brook, the Binghamton softball team was swept by UMass Lowell this weekend. The reigning America East (AE) regular season champions dropped their 20th game of the season and their seventh conference match as offensive woes continued to plague them.
The Bearcats (11-20, 4-7 AE) began the series with a doubleheader Saturday afternoon against the top team in the conference. The River Hawks (15-22, 9-2 AE) took the three-game spread by scores of 3-2, 2-0 and 6-1, respectively.
Despite strong pitching by sophomore Rayn Gibson and beyond effective hitting by senior outfielder Jessica Rutherford, freshman pitcher Lovina Capria threw a complete game to power the River Hawks to their first victory of the weekend. The 10-4 starting pitcher tossed seven nearly flawless innings in which Capria fanned 10 batters and surrendered just one walk. Even though Gibson also had a solid day by giving up only one run, the Bearcats were unable to turn hits into runs and that ultimately cost the team a close one.
In game one, Rutherford went a perfect four-for-four at the plate, including an RBI single in the top of the fifth inning. Although the Bearcats had seven other hits in the opener, BU failed to tally a single earned run and ultimately fell to UMass Lowell.
Hoping to secure its first victory during the nightcap, BU was unsuccessful yet again as it was overpowered by another complete game tossed by a UMass pitcher. Junior pitcher Kaysee Talcik, who was only 3-14 on the year, appeared to be an all-star as she struck out nine batters and surrendered two hits. Senior third baseman Kate Richard and sophomore first baseman Kassidy Seary were the only Bearcats to reach base in the second match of the series.
Although the Bearcats could not repeat the same hitting success in game two, the rotation was nonetheless efficient. Sophomore pitcher Rozlyn Price, who started for Binghamton, and junior pitcher Makenzie Goluba each went three innings without giving up a single earned run. Three different fielding errors by BU coupled with the lack of hitting, however, cost Binghamton the close game.
Heading into game three of the winless weekend, the Bearcats were outmatched in the 6-1 defeat. The River Hawks, behind the pitching of Talcik, kept Binghamton to just one run despite six hits on Sunday afternoon. UMass Lowell tallied 11 hits and six earned runs, three of which occurred in the fifth inning alone.
In the bottom of the fifth, River Hawks senior first baseman Vanessa Cooper, senior outfielder Samantha McQueen and senior outfielder Madison Alcorn all posted RBIs against a struggling Binghamton pitching staff. BU used four different pitchers on the day, none of whom survived longer than two innings. Gibson dropped her ninth game of the season as she faced 11 batters in 1.2 innings pitched.
With the three losses on the weekend, the team finds itself below .500 with three AE series remaining during the regular season. It may be the case that the lack of home-field advantage may be contributing to some of the struggles facing BU head coach Michelle Johnston’s squad. Having already moved several series that would have been played at home to other locations, it is currently uncertain if the team will ever have the opportunity to play in at the Bearcats Sports Complex before the season concludes in a few weeks.
Looking to secure their 12th victory of the year, BU is set to face Syracuse for a nonconference matchup. First pitch against the Orange is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Tuesday from Syracuse, New York.