NCAA, Softball, Sports

Softball earns eighth straight win in weekend sweep of Bearcats

The Boston University softball team extended its winning streak to eight games this weekend after sweeping Binghamton University in a three game set to open America East play. The Terriers improved their record to 19-8 on the season with games marked by two different styles of play.

“A sweep is hard to come by,” said BU coach Shawn Rychcik. “Everybody knows each other so well, the teams make such good adjustments so to get three wins is just a great thing.”

BU opened conference play with a 4-3 victory over Binghamton (7-14, 0-3 America East). Despite striking out eight and pitching a complete game, sophomore pitcher Holli Floetker struggled to keep the Bearcats off the bases, allowing six hits and two earned runs in her 12th victory of the season.

The Bearcats scored first in the top of the third inning, putting two runs on the board to hold the lead until the bottom of the seventh.

The Terriers’ first run came in the bottom of the fourth after junior second basemen Emily Roesch hit a sacrifice fly. Binghamton added to its lead again in the top of the sixth.

BU’s offense picked up the slack in the bottom of the seventh inning, entering the inning down 3-1 before staging a seventh inning comeback rally.

“We had a good calm about us going into the seventh innings of those games,” Rychcik said. “[We believed] that we were going to have an opportunity to do something.”

Sophomore catcher Amy Ekart started things off with a leadoff home run to left field, bringing her team-leading total to five. Sophomore shortstop Brittany Clendenny also knocked one out of the park, hitting the homer to the opposite field to even the score at 3-3.

After reaching base on an error, senior left fielder Erica Casacci scored the winning run after a walk-off single by sophomore center fielder Chelsea O’Connor.

In their second game of the day, the Terriers staved off a late-inning rally by the Bearcats to claim a 5-4 victory.

BU took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning after a three-run homer from rookie Mandy Fernandez. It was the outfielder’s second three-run homer of the season.

After junior pitcher Whitney Tuthill allowed a run in the top of the fourth and fifth innings, the Terriers built their lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth. Clendenny added another RBI to her season total when she brought sophomore third basemen Megan Volpano home with a single to center, allowing the Terriers to enter the seventh with a two-run advantage.

This advantage wouldn’t hold for long as Tuthill could not fight off the Bearcats offense. Errors also plagued the Terriers, as they mishandled the ball twice in the top of the seventh, allowing Binghamton to tie the score at 4-4.

The Terriers’ bats proved productive in the bottom of the seventh as a combination of two errors and smart baserunning allowed the Terriers to score in the bottom of the seventh, finishing the game with a 5-4 victory.

“[The two games] weren’t the prettiest games,” Rychcik said. “We had two come from behinds and struggled a little bit with the bats.”

The Terriers closed out their three-game series against Binghamton with a 3-0 victory off the arm of junior pitcher Erin Schuppert. She pitched a complete game, striking out nine batters and controlling every at bat from the moment the game started.

In an effort that evened out her record to 3-3, Schuppert allowed only two hits as her team backed her up with a strong defensive effort marred only by a late inning error in right field by sophomore Jayme Mask.

All of the Terrier’s offense came in the first inning, with Mask starting BU off with a walk. She quickly stole second and was joined on the bases by O’Connor. A ground-out by Volpano drove in the Terriers’ first run of the game.

O’Connor scored after on a single up the center by Roesch. Then Roesch stole second after Ekart struck out and was driven home for the Terriers’ third and final run by Clendenny.

BU threatened again throughout the game, the Terriers did not get another runner across the plate.

“The bottom line is good teams figure out ways to win,” Rychcik said.

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