For the first time in 2013, the Boston University softball team gained game experience outside of a tournament in the South. This time, the Terriers stayed north, taking on Providence College and Binghamton University over the weekend.
“It was great to be back on the field,” said BU coach Kathryn Gleason. “It was 11 days since we had played.”
Thursday, the Terriers (9-16-1, 1-2 America East) ventured to Providence, R.I., to take on the Friars (9-17-1) for two games.
In the first game, senior pitcher Whitney Tuthill faced off against Corinne Clauss. Tuthill went seven innings for the Terriers, allowing only four hits, while striking out 11 hitters.
Although Tuthill was strong, Clauss was just as good. Clauss went the distance as well, going seven innings, giving up five hits and striking out five.
Both pitchers kept the game scoreless, and neither team had a great chance until the top of the sixth inning, when the Terriers finally broke through. With one out, junior shortstop Brittany Clendenny doubled to left, followed by a walk from freshman first baseman Lauren Hynes. Sophomore infielder Kendra Meadows pinch ran for Hynes, and after Clendenny stole third, second baseman Emily Roesch brought in both of them, giving the Terriers a 2-0 lead.
The two runs were enough for Tuthill, as she held the Friars scoreless and BU pulled out the victory in the opening game.
“It’s always good to get the first game of a doubleheader,” Gleason said. “It was a big boost for our team.”
The second game was an offensive slugfest, as the teams combined for 18 runs.
Thanks to an early BU error, Providence was able to stake itself to a 3-0 lead in the first.
The Terriers answered back in the next half with four runs, including two RBIs from Roesch, giving BU a 4-3 lead.
The Terriers made two errors in the next inning, leading to six runs for the Friars, including catcher Stephanie Kiesel’s grand slam, which allowed Providence to take a 9-4 lead. Hynes got the start for the Terriers, but was replaced in the circle by Tuthill after 1.2 innings of work.
The Terriers scored three in the next inning, thanks to a leadoff homer by Clendenny and RBI singles by sophomore right fielder Emily Felbaum and sophomore left fielder Mandy Fernandez, cutting the score to 9-7.
The score remained at 9-7 until the sixth inning, when BU came up to the plate and scored two on junior third baseman Megan Volpano’s two-run home run, tying the score at nine.
Tuthill held Providence scoreless in the following innings and the game ended in a tie.
“We kept crawling back in,” Gleason said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t get three more outs because it got dark out and [the Friars] don’t have lights.”
After hard-fought games in Rhode Island, the Terriers moved on to Binghamton (11-10, 2-1 America East) in their first conference games this season.
BU took the opening game of the three-game set by a score of 3-2. Tuthill got the start and pitched a complete game. She allowed eight hits and two runs while striking out four.
Although the Terriers fell behind 1-0 in the second inning, they fought back yet again, and took a 2-1 lead on the bat of designated hitter Haley King, who hit her first career home run.
Although Binghamton answered with one the next inning to tie the score, Volpano gave BU the lead in the sixth on an RBI single. Tuthill held the Bearcats scoreless in the final two frames, and the Terriers came away with the victory.
In the second game, senior pitcher Erin Schuppert started for the Terriers. She went six innings, allowing four runs and eight hits in the outing. Although she pitched well enough to keep the Terriers within reasonable scoring distance of the opposition, pitcher Rhoda Marsteller held the BU bats quiet.
BU scored three unearned runs in the final frame, forcing Binghamton to switch to relief pitcher Kate Price with one out remaining. Price got the job done with the bases loaded, and the Bearcats held off another Terrier comeback attempt.
“It was really tough,” Gleason said. “We had the bases loaded. We felt like we had it.”
Binghamton overwhelmed BU in the final contest and came out with an 8-0 mercy-rule victory.
Pitcher Demi Laney started for Binghamton, and allowed just four hits in six innings.
Tuthill again got the start for BU and was strong in her first three innings, but allowed a total of five runs on six hits in the fourth and fifth. Schuppert relieved in the sixth inning and allowed three runs, giving Binghamton enough for the mercy-rule win.
Despite the loss, Gleason said she is looking forward to her team’s next opportunity.
“We’re excited to play at home on Wednesday,” Gleason said.