The University of Connecticut proved Wednesday afternoon that its bite was worse than its bark as it snapped the Boston University softball’s team winning streak at eight games. The Terriers had their streak broken by the surging Huskies, whose 3-0 victory over BU was their third in a row.
Despite registering nine hits to UConn’s eight, the Terriers (19-9, 3-0 America East) did not get a runner across the plate in Wednesday’s game. BU left 11 runners on base in the scoreless outing as the team struggled to get the right hit at the right time.
“We had nine hits in the game. It wasn’t like we were shut down,” said BU coach Shawn Rychcik. “We just couldn’t get the big hits. Sometimes it happens that way.”
The game began on a less-than-positive note when sophomore leadoff batter Jayme Mask, after reaching first on an error, was caught stealing second. Despite this, the Terriers’ got runners on base after a single by sophomore center fielder Chelsea O’Connor. A fielding error allowed sophomore third baseman Megan Volpano to reach base as well.
A ground out by junior second baseman Emily Roesch advanced the runners to second and third, but sophomore catcher Amy Ekart grounded out to second, unable to add another RBI to her team-leading 19.
“We swung the bat really well today,” Rychcik said. “I was really hoping we’d be able to get some runs on the board today, but other than that it was a pretty good game.”
The Huskies (13-11), on the other hand, converted hits into runs as left fielder Amy Vaughn continued her dominant offensive play, knocking in UConn’s first run of the game on a single to center field.
The team loaded the bases after two quick outs in the top of the second, but the Terriers failed to capitalize on the opportunity when O’Connor grounded out to second.
UConn extended its lead with two runs in the bottom of the third. After a leadoff single by shortstop Emily O’Donnell, starting pitcher Whitney Tuthill was pulled from the game and replaced by junior Erin Schuppert.
Schuppert could not hold off the Huskies’ offense when right fielder Marissa Guches hit a two-run home run to put UConn up 3-0. After that, Schuppert suppressed her opponent’s offense and did not allow another run in the game.
“We were able to hold them to three runs,” Rychcik said. “That’s not a bad day.”
The Terriers’ offense continued to miss opportunities, leaving two runners on base in the top of both the fourth and fifth innings.
Schuppert only pitched for two innings before Rychcik replaced her with sophomore Holli Floetker at the beginning of the fifth inning, allowing all three of BU’s pitchers to see playing time before the weekend’s games against Stony Brook University.
“That was the plan. To let everyone go in and get a little bit of work,” Rychcik said.
After a weekend in which they’d rallied twice in the bottom of the seventh to come out with a victory, the Terriers could not repeat the performance and were taken down 1-2-3 by UConn pitcher Kiki Saveriano, who improved her record to 8-5.
Though it ended an eight-game winning streak, the Terriers will have to be ready to bounce back quickly as they head into a weekend of conference play against fellow America East leader Stony Brook.
“We swung the bat well, we just didn’t get the big hit, “Rychcik said. “You know, nine hits is a good day. Sometimes you just get the big hit and sometimes you don’t.”