The America East Softball Championship Tournament got underway Wednesday morning over on the Binghamton University campus.
The Bearcats playing host to the tournament for the 5th time since 2011, and have their sights set on their 2nd America East championship.
However, they have to make it through the double elimination format in order to do that, and two local student-athletes helped Binghamton inch a step closer on day 1.

First up were the Hartford Hawks. Allie L’Amoreaux in the circle for BU to get things started. Great freshman season for her.
In the 3rd, Hawks up 1-0 until Haley Cassidy gets a hold of that one. Deep down the left field line and that is gone. Her 5th of the year makes it 2-0 Hartford.
L’Amoreaux would settle in over her remaining innings, allowing the two runs on 4 hits with 3 strikeouts.
She gave way to Sophia Pappas, BU’s top bullpen pitcher.
Her 1st inning of work, and her 1st batter was Julianna Kocenski , and the senior gets all of that one. Rude welcome for Pappas and it’s 3-0 Hawks.
3-1 score in the BU half of the 4th. Makayla Alvarez skies one deep to right-center. Gets down and off the wall. In to score is Jillian Fittry, and we have ourselves a 1-run game.
An inning later, BU with the bases loaded and Pappas at the plate. Kocenski gets her looking. She had 6 K’s in this one for Hartford.
Tied at 3, Bearcats threatening again in the 6th, and this time they come through. Chloe Morgan with her 3rd hit of the game and she drives in the go-ahead and insurance runs. 5-3 BU.
Pappas was terrific in relief, going 4 innings while only allowing the 1 run on two hits and fanned 6.

Binghamton gets the win, 5-3, and with it are one step closer to their ultimate goal.
That win was also the 1st tournament win as head coach for Jess Bump.
Afterwards, she spoke about her team’s effort and fight to grind out a win, and the confidence that should give them.

BU Head Softball Coach Jess Bump says, “Super proud of how our young kids, and our upperclassmen, came out. Got rid of the nerves, and I just told them in the huddle, we play well under pressure. And I think that game just showed that. So, I think we’re going to carry that along for the rest of the tournament. So, if we get down, regardless of what the score is, just knowing that we can come back and we’re able to score runs.”

While BU’s resiliency helped them dig out of a hole Wednesday, that’s not the way they want to be playing the rest of the tournament.
That’s especially true for their next game as they’ll take on top-seeded UMBC Thursday morning.
If the Bearcats beat the Retrievers they’re on to day 3 and in great position to make the finals with no loses.
If they fall to UMBC, they’ll need to avoid losing again the rest of the way.
After Wednesday’s performance though, BU at least knows they’re capable of overcoming late deficits.