The Binghamton softball team traveled to Baltimore, Maryland to compete in the America East (AE) tournament this weekend. After earning a first-round bye on the first day of the tournament, No. 2 Binghamton dropped their first matchup against No. 3 Albany on Thursday. Then, on Friday, facing elimination, the Bearcats matched up against No. 6 Maine and ultimately fell 6-4, ending their season in stunning fashion.
“Obviously this wasn’t the way we wanted our season to end, but overall we are very proud of the season we put together,” wrote Binghamton head coach Jess Bump. “We made great strides in a year, and one weekend shouldn’t dictate how we feel about the season as a whole.”
Coming off their bye on Wednesday, No. 2 BU (29-18,13-7 AE) took on No. 3 Albany (24-19,11-7 AE) on Thursday afternoon. After four innings of scoreless play on both sides, the Great Danes finally broke through, plating three in the fifth inning. Albany would then go on to add three more runs in the seventh inning to take a commanding 6-0 lead against Binghamton. The Bearcats’ offense stayed dormant as they were held scoreless for the rest of the game, eventually dropping the contest 6-0 while being outhit by the Great Danes nine to two.
“Going in to play a very well-coached Albany team for the seventh time and the fourth time in a week was going to be a tough task,” Bump wrote. “We started off the game strong and it was a pitcher duel through 4. Albany is a very good offensive team, and we gave them a few extra opportunities to allow them to score some runs late. Offensively we hit some balls hard, but overall didn’t have the fire we needed to come back from the deficit we were in.”
BU then took on No. 6 seeded Maine (16-39, 4-15 AE) in an elimination game on Friday afternoon with the winner advancing to play Albany. In AE conference play, the Bearcats went 5-0 against the Black Bears. However, this time, Maine was able to flip the script. The Black Bears managed to get on the board first, plating one run in the top of the third. In response, the Bearcats tied things up at one in the bottom half of the inning as freshman infielder Akira Kopec’s RBI double brought senior outfielder Jill Fittry home.
While the Black Bears added one run in both the fourth and fifth innings, Binghamton managed to tack on two in the bottom of the fourth when junior first baseman Allison L’Amoreaux launched a two-run home run over the left field fence. With the game tied at three, Maine went on to rally in the top of the sixth and tacked on three runs, taking a 6-3 lead over Binghamton. Despite a solo home run from freshman catcher Emma Lawson in the bottom of the inning, it would not be enough as Maine upset the Bearcats 6-4 to end their season.
“Even though we won five games against Maine, they were all tight, and we knew we were going to have to play a clean game,” Bump said. “It was a back-and-forth battle but ultimately we made a few defensive miscues that gave them some momentum.”
Binghamton ends the season with 29 wins, the fourth best in program history. In addition, a league-high eight Bearcats earned all-conference honors, which is also tied for the most ever in program history. Graduate student second baseman Alli Richmond, redshirt sophomore utility player Lindsey Walter and redshirt sophomore third baseman Brianna Santos were first-team all-conference selections while the second team included AE rookie of year freshman pitcher Brianna Roberts, graduate student pitcher Sophia Pappas, sophomore outfielder Laney Harbaugh and Kopec.
“We feel good about the future of Binghamton softball,” Bump said. “Our expectations and standards will continue to improve as time goes on, and we have a group of competitive players who really want to help this program reach new heights.”