After a 2-1 series loss to UAlbany last weekend, Binghamton women’s softball rebounded with a pivotal series win in America East (AE) play to Bryant in a matchup of the conference’s top two teams less than two weeks from tournament play. En route to securing a 30-win season for the fourth time in program history, the Bearcats’ bats came alive with a combined 15 runs to sweep Saturday’s doubleheader before a walk-off in extra innings Sunday earned the weekend sweep.

“It’s obviously huge [sweeping Bryant],” said Binghamton head coach Jess Bump. “The conference is super tight this year, between [teams ranked] one and three it’s just a game or two [gap]. We knew these games were going to be really important. I was really proud of how [the team] locked in. I don’t think it matters who we’re playing right now — we’re playing our game and doing what we gotta do.”

Bryant (30-14, 12-6 AE) started the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader with a two-run home run before the Bearcats (31-14, 13-4 AE) responded with a five-run second via a two-run home run from graduate student infielder Alex Musial and RBI doubles from redshirt junior outfielder Brianna Santos and senior pitcher Allison L’Amoreaux. Senior utility Shelby Carvalho concluded the inning with an RBI single to give Binghamton a 5-3 lead. The Bearcats added two more runs in the sixth with home runs from junior outfielder Sarah Rende and L’Amoreaux for a 7-3 win.

“We worked really hard the last two weeks offensively,” Bump said. “[Binghamton assistant coach Michaela Transue] has done a great job with our hitters — she has them locked in. [Players] are coaching each other and talking to each other throughout the game. As coaches, that’s all we can really ask for.”

Game two was postponed to 6 p.m. Saturday, but the Bearcats wasted no time getting on the board after putting up four runs driven in by L’Amoreaux, Carvalho and sophomore outfielder Bella Farina in the first two innings. Driving rains briefly hit Vestal, postponing the game again before the Bearcats added four runs in the fourth inning to take an 8-0 lead. The game was called after sophomore pitcher Olivia Kennedy struck out Bryant’s last two hitters in the fifth. Overall, Kennedy threw a five-inning shutout with seven strikeouts, zero walks and only three hits surrendered.

“Our team has a lot of fun and we continue to use that to our advantage, even when we’re down,” Bump said. “I think we’re playing super relaxed right now and we know that’s how we play our best. [Kennedy] threw a gem [in game two]. Our pitchers feel confident because our offense is going right now.”

In the weekend finale Sunday morning, the Bearcats opened up with a five-run first before Bryant added a combined seven runs in the ensuing three innings to take a 7-5 lead. An RBI off the bat of Santos in the fourth brought the game to 7-6 heading into the seventh. Then, down to their last out in the final inning, Farina drove in the tying run to force extra innings. After L’Amoreaux shut the Bulldogs down in the top of the eighth, she walked the game off with a two-out RBI double to secure a weekend sweep for the Bearcats.

“Excuse my expression, but [L’Amoreaux] is a dawg,” Bump said. “She’s going to go out there and win a game. She just threw a great seven innings, including five innings without giving up a run towards the end and then she walked it off for us at the end. [As a team] we know that if we get down we just gotta continue to chip away and get runs in bunches.”

On the weekend, L’Amoreaux collected seven hits, drove in four runs and added 14 innings on the mound with 10 strikeouts to take home two wins for the series. Carvalho collected five hits while driving in seven runs, including a three-run home run in Sunday’s win. The series win put Binghamton in first place in the AE while Bryant fell to second.

“[I’m] super proud of [Carvalho], she’s worked really hard the last two weeks and she had some great at-bats this weekend,” Bump said. “We’re not going to change anything, we’re taking it one pitch at a time and we want to take that mentality into the tournament.”

The Bearcats host UMass Lowell next weekend in its series of conference play before the America East tournament kicks off Saturday, May 8. The first pitch of the first game is set for 5 p.m. on Friday, May 3 at the Bearcats Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.