The sun was shining brightly and the weather was picture perfect as the Boston University softball team set out to honor the 2013 senior class during Sunday afternoon’s game against America East foe University of Maine in its last home game as a member of the conference.
The Terriers (20-23-1, 8-6 America East) successfully completed a three-game sweep of the Black Bears (7-37, 3-12 America East) with pitcher Erin Schuppert picking up her third win of the season while second baseman Emily Roesch continued her season-long offensive success.
“You try not to make it too emotional for them before the game, but I think we honored them very nicely,” said BU coach Kathryn Gleason. “But they just want to go out and they keep doing what they’ve always done.”
The Terriers’ third senior, pitcher Whitney Tuthill, was kept out of the circle because of an injury, but came in as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the sixth so she could see playing time in her last home game as a Terrier.
Though Tuthill’s fly out was not as dramatic as Schuppert’s strong performance in the circle or Roesch’s rally-starting offensive play, she has been the anchor of BU’s pitching staff for the entire season.
“I wanted to get Whitney in the game, I really did,” Gleason said.
Stepping into the top pitching spot due to Holli Floetker’s absence, Tuthill spent her senior season establishing herself as a major force on the mound. She leads the Terriers’ pitching staff with a 2.44 ERA and 13 wins, and found her footing as a true leader on the team even as BU struggled early in the season.
Classmate and fellow pitcher Erin Schuppert has not had the same success Tuthill has experienced in 2013. Until this past weekend she only had one win on the year, but when Tuthill was injured and unable to take the mound, Schuppert pulled through, winning two of three games in the sweep of Maine to close out home play.
“For Erin to get that win is great,” Gleason said. “Three strikeouts and one walk, that’s a great way for her to end her career here at BU on the mound.”
Despite struggling all season, Schuppert walked away from the weekend with two wins, including a one-run, five-hit victory to close out the sweep. Though she allowed five runs in one inning in the first game against Maine, Schuppert was on point for most of the weekend, allowing only one run in the first inning of the third game, a 7-1 Terrier victory.
The only senior not on the pitching staff, second baseman Emily Roesch, has been a subtle offensive and team leader. What Roesch lacks in panache she makes up for in quiet strength. She has 19 RBIs — the second most on the team — and a .242 batting average. All season long, she has been a constant in a sporadic offensive lineup.
“Subtly. That’s the way E-Roe goes about her business,” Gleason said. “[Junior center fielder] Jayme [Mask]’s our vocal leader and E-Roe’s our quiet, calm lead by example, and so it was always great to see her.”
Second base is often referred to as the “keystone sack,” and Roesch has been the epitome of that colloquialism all season long. She is a strong defensive player with a .960 fielding percentage. While her presence on the field has never been attention grabbing, Roesch consistently supports her team, providing necessary offensive and defensive pushes.
In Sunday’s game against Maine, Roesch singled to start off the Terriers’ first rally of the game in a three-run second inning. Roesch went 2-for-3 on the day, with an RBI groundout that provided Schuppert and the rest of the Terrier defense with a comfortable lead.
The 2013 senior class is a small one, consisting of only three players, but Roesch, Schuppert and Tuthill have been valuable members of the BU softball team over the past four seasons.
“I know they want to go out with a bang,” Gleason said. “But that’s just the way they play every day.”