The Boston University softball team struggled in its three midweek games against the University at Albany and Bryant University, dropping all three. However, this weekend the Terriers claimed a three-game sweep at home over the University of Maine.
“We played BU softball,” said BU coach Kathryn Gleason. “We just battled back and never let anything get us down. We had good pitching all around.”
In the first game of the series, the Terriers (20-23-1, 8-6 America East) did not send out usual starter senior pitcher Whitney Tuthill, who was battling an injury. Instead, freshman pitcher Lauren Hynes got the start.
Although Hynes was solid in her effort, she had to weave through trouble in the first inning as Maine (7-37, 3-12 America East) threatened early.
After a single by redshirt junior Hannah Hill, Maine loaded the bases with only one out. Despite the pressure, Hynes got the next two hitters out to end the inning.
The Terriers grabbed that momentum and scored their first run of the game in the bottom half. Junior center fielder Jayme Mask started the rally with a leadoff single and followed it by stealing second. Hynes bunted her to third, which set up an RBI single by junior third baseman Megan Volpano.
BU followed its first-inning success with another run in the second. Junior first baseman Chelsea Kehr started the rally with a double and sophomore infielder Kendra Meadows replaced her as a pinch runner. Meadows eventually scored on a fielder’s choice by freshman right fielder Haley King.
The 2-0 lead was enough for Hynes, who kept the Maine hitters in check. Hynes went seven innings, allowed six hits and struck out five in her victorious effort.
In the second game Saturday, BU put Erin Schuppert in the circle. Schuppert had not pitched since April 3 when she gave up six runs and lost to the University of Connecticut.
Although Maine threatened in the first frame again, Schuppert held strong and kept Maine off the board.
The Terriers scored three runs in the initial frame, and the score remained 3-0 until the top of the third when Maine’s offense exploded. The Black Bears scored five times, with four coming on a grand slam off the bat of third baseman Jean Stevens.
The Terriers inched back in the next half inning and made it a 5-4 game on an RBI single by junior shortstop Brittany Clendenny.
The Terriers regained the lead in the sixth, scoring three times to take a 7-5 advantage. Two RBIs came off Kehr’s bat, scoring Volpano and junior catcher Amy Ekart.
Ekart’s slide was crucial, as she knocked the ball out of the catcher’s glove and would have otherwise been out.
“Amy’s one of the biggest competitors,” Gleason said. “She knows what she needs to do to get that run in. I had given her the go sign, and Amy went right into her.”
The Terriers added two more runs in the sixth on a two-run double by Clendenny.
After struggling in the third, Schuppert calmed down, only allowing three more hits the rest of the way. Schuppert went the distance, going seven innings, allowing five runs and striking out four in the 9-5 victory.
“It’s huge for [Schuppert],” Gleason said. “She takes on all of them. She just battled back. She had one bad inning and battled back. She did a great job.”
With the win, the Terriers went for their third straight victory on senior day. Schuppert, Tuthill and senior second baseman Emily Roesch were honored before the game.
After the pregame festivities, the Terriers sent out Schuppert, who was strong in her second consecutive start. She pitched another complete game, striking out four and allowing one run.
The offense had her back from the start as BU jumped all over Maine starter Beth Spoehr. Despite falling behind 1-0 in the first, the Terriers scored three times in the second to take a 3-1 lead. Sophomore left fielder Emily Felbaum had the highlight of the inning with a suicide squeeze that brought in Meadows.
BU added three more in the fifth on a two-run double to deep center by Volpano and an RBI groundout by Roesch. Volpano added salt to Maine’s wounds with another run in the sixth on a solo homer to left field.
Schuppert did not allow a run after the first. After a quick 1-2-3 seventh inning, the Terriers won their third consecutive game by a final score of 7-1.
“We didn’t do anything flashy, we just played great softball,” Gleason said. “We played good defense and pitched well. It was a great way to end the weekend.”