While the lacrosse seasons may have come to an end for Binghamton University last week, they still have two more teams that will be competing for an America East Championship.
Baseball will begin it’s journey in two weeks, but BU softball gets underway on Wednesday.
For the 5th time since 2011, the Bearcats will be playing in the conference tournament on their home field.
BU was projected to finish 4th in the America East this year, and they hit that mark as they are the 4-seed and will begin tournament play against 5th-seeded Hartford.
This will be Jess Bump’s 1st conference tournament as BU’s head coach, and she’s excited to get started.
Bump has played and worked in this conference, and knows how strong the competition can be.
She also knows what her team needs to do each game to give them the best chance to win.
BU Head Softball Coach Jess Bump says, “Pitching wise, in our conference, is very strong. So, in order to keep these games close, we also have to pitch and play pretty good defense to keep the games close so offensively we can put ourselves in a position to take a game. So, I think, going on every day, I think, obviously, being sharp on defense and throwing our best game out there on the mound is really going to be key for us.”
Senior Sophia Pappas is making a return to the America East playoffs for the 1st time since her freshman season, when she went 2-for-2 with a home run and 2 RBI’s.
This time though,the Susquehanna Valley grad will be able to play in front of her friends and family.
Pappas, named 2nd-Team All-Conference for the 2nd-straight season, says she’s been dreaming of this moment for years.
BU Softball Senior Pitcher Sophia Pappas says, “It’s going to be a lot of fun. I’ve thought about this moment for a long time, probably 8 years now. So, it’s just going to be a dream come true.”
While it will certainly be a terrific moment for Pappas, fellow senior Alli Richmond, a 1st-Team All-Conference member, is also playing close to home as the Horseheads native is only about an hour from her hometown.
Richmond heads into the tournament riding a 10-game hitting streak, the longest of her career. 5 of those came against Hartford, and 3 were home runs.
While the Bearcats have had a lot of success against Hartford this season, Richmond knows they can’t take the Hawks lightly, and that they can’t be intimidated by the moment.
BU Softball Senior Utility Player Alli Richmond says, “I just think it’s super important to stay grounded. It is a big moment, but don’t make the moment bigger than it is. I think one of the key things is just setting little goals for ourselves. So, not making things too big, focus on winning the pitch, then the at-bat, then the inning, then the game. So, just those little goals and helping them kind of set and reach those.”
The Bearcats and Hawks kick off the tournament Wednesday at 11 AM.
Should BU win, they would face top-seeded UMBC Thursday at 11.
If they lose, the Bearcats would play for their postseason lives Wednesday at 4 against the losing team from the UMass Lowell and Maine game.