The Binghamton softball team continued its nonconference slate at the Weiler Orthodontics Tournament hosted by James Madison, going 1-3 over the weekend. After splitting a doubleheader on Friday, the Bearcats fell in both their games on Sunday, leaving Harrisonburg, Virginia with just one win.

“It was a tough weekend for us, and we obviously didn’t play to our potential,” wrote Binghamton head coach Jess Bump. “Our first game against St. Joe’s, we played good softball on all fronts, but the other three games, some things didn’t go our way and we couldn’t seem to get any momentum.”

The Bearcats’ (11-7) first matchup was Friday morning against St. Joseph’s (6-12). After a scoreless first inning for both sides, in the second inning, junior outfielder Brianna Santos launched an RBI double into left. Then, junior utility player Lindsey Walter cleared the bases with a single, giving Binghamton a 3-0 lead. The Bearcats kept the pressure on through the middle innings, with senior pitcher Allison L’Amoreaux, plating senior catcher Hailey Ehlers in the fourth inning to make it 4-0.

While the Bearcats gave up one run via the longball in the bottom of the fourth, senior utility player Shelby Carvalho hit a two run home run in the fifth inning and a solo home run in the seventh inning to put Binghamton up comfortably 7-1. The Bearcats did not allow another run to secure their lone win of the tournament. Sophomore pitcher Brianna Roberts went the distance, pitching seven innings and striking out six while allowing only one earned run on two hits.

“[Roberts] has been pitching really well and is gaining confidence every weekend,” Bump wrote. “She is trusting her pitches, her defense and has a good presence about her right now.”

Binghamton’s second game of the day, an afternoon matchup against tournament hosts JMU (15-7) was a different story. Almost immediately, the Bearcats found themselves behind, with the Dukes taking a quick 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. It would be all downhill from there, as the Bearcats would give up seven more runs in the next three innings and score none of their own, losing 9-0 via run rule in only five innings.

“[JMU] is a very well-coached team, with gritty athletes who know how to win and don’t let up once they have momentum,” Bump wrote.

Binghamton’s second day of play on Sunday mirrored the first, with a game against St. Joseph in the morning and a game against JMU in the afternoon. BU took an early 2-0 lead against St. Joseph, courtesy of an RBI single by L’Amoreaux and an RBI double by freshman infielder Elisa Allen. However, Binghamton’s offense was held scoreless the rest of the way by the Hawks’ pitching while piecing together four runs of their own for a 4-2 victory.

The Bearcats faired no better in game two against JMU, as the Dukes jumped to a 4-0 lead after the third inning. Binghamton avoided a shutout, scoring in the fifth inning via a Roberts groundout RBI to make the score 4-1. However, JMU responded with five more runs, in the bottom of the inning to make the score 9-1 and trigger the run rule, ending the game.

“Our game against them on Sunday, I thought we did a good job limiting their offense, and [we] put ourselves into a few positions to score some runs and close the gap, but couldn’t seem to get anything going,” Bump wrote.

Binghamton ended the tournament with -13 run differential as a team. The pitching staff struck out 24 batters while giving up 22 earned runs. The Bearcats batted .258 as a team throughout the weekend.

“Our preseason has been good and we are still trying to put all the pieces together and figure out who we are,” Bump wrote. “I’ve been happy overall and the girls continue to work really hard. I think the biggest thing for us is just trying to gain some confidence going into conference play and trusting all the work we’ve put in as a group.”

Binghamton will be back in action next weekend at the Penn State Softball Invitational, starting on Saturday, March 16. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m. against Lehigh at Nittany Lion Softball Park in State College, Pennsylvania.