Sunday, April 20, 2014
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Notebook: Pitching carries Terriers through final stretch

After a tough weekend against the University at Albany where the Boston University softball team was swept, the Terriers (20–23–1, 8-6 America East) rebounded against the University of Maine in an effort to finish out the season in a strong manner.

Prior to the losses against the Great Danes (30–11, 13-1 America East), BU was on a tear, winning six games in a row against the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, Bryant University, Boston College and Sacred Heart University. This was largely a result of solid performances by the pitching staff.

In the first game of the series against Maine (7-37, 3-12 America East), freshman pitcher Lauren Hynes, who had some difficulty on the mound earlier in the season, threw a complete game shutout, allowing only six hits.

The very next game, senior pitcher Erin Schuppert threw a complete game of her own. Even though Schuppert gave up five runs, the BU offense gaver her sufficient support with nine runs.

After being honored on Senior Day, Schuppert returned to the mound for the Terriers Sunday, this time only surrendering one run in the top of the first inning.

“You want your team and pitching to play their best at the end of the season and evolve throughout the season,” said BU coach Kathryn Gleason. “Our six-game win streak started with the pitching and has carried through.”

Jayme Mask for MVP

The catalyst for the BU offense this season has been junior center fielder Jayme Mask. Mask has started for the Terriers every game this season, and leads the team with a .399 batting average.

As well as having a solid batting average, Mask boasts a team-high .465 on-base percentage. What really sets Mask apart from her teammates, however, is her ability to steal bases.

During this weekend’s series, Mask stole six bases on seven attempts. She also went 6-for-10, scored three runs and had one RBI. Her performance against Maine earned her America East Player of the Week honors for the second time this season.

By adding six more steals to her total, Mask is nearing the record for steals in a single season. She has stolen 35 bases this year, and 2009 graduate Shayne Lotto holds the current record of 37.

“Jayme leads the team on and off the field with her encouragement,” Gleason said. “Her goal for the team is to win every game and I know she has the individual goal to break the season and career record.

“It’s not about chasing records, we try to move her to put her in scoring position and she has done that. She is truly the catalyst and has been doing that all season.”

Middle of the Pack

 Right now, the Terriers are 8-6 in conference play, putting them in third place in the America East. As a result of the sanctions put on all of BU’s teams because of the move to the Patriot League next season, BU will not participate in the America East Championships for softball.

Binghamton University and conference-leading Albany are the only teams ahead of the Terriers.

It is impossible for the Terriers to win the regular season conference title, which means they will not have a shot at returning to the NCAA Tournament, but Gleason said she did not find this discouraging.

“We’re just excited to play,” Gleason said. “We just want to play, considering the [University of Massachusetts-Amherst] cancellation and addition of the [University of Connecticut] game. We look forward to playing Stony Brook [University] and it’s always exciting.

“We’re looking to finish with a .500 record. We’re third in the conference and who knows what happens this weekend, we can affect the seeding of the America East. We want to go out of the America East on a high note and carry it into the Patriot League.”

 

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