This past weekend, the Boston University softball team fell under one game under .500 after losing four out of five games at the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational.
The first game on Friday was an offensive showdown as the Terriers (4-5) faced off against Seattle University. The Redhawks (10-11) put a dent in the run column from the outset with an RBI double off the bat of senior Brianna Guererro, the first of her four RBI on the day. The power of the Seattle bats, coupled with BU defensive gaffes, led to a tough outing for senior pitcher Melanie Russell, as she gave up seven runs, only one of which was earned, in just 2.2 innings pitched.
“We just need to make the routine plays,” said BU coach Kathryn Gleason. “We’re making some fantastic plays [all over], but we’re not making the routine plays. It’s contagious.”
Her successors did not fare much better as the Redhawks tacked on eight more runs off of sophomore pitcher Laura Hynes, including seven in the fourth, and two more off of freshman pitcher Makinna Akers. The Terriers put up a fight toward the end of the game, plating runs in each of the last four innings, amassing 11 overall. But that was not enough to compete with Seattle’s 17 and BU dropped game one.
Heading into the second game of the day, the Terriers sought to right their defensive and pitching woes against Santa Clara University. Santa Clara (1-11) came into the matchup against BU having dropped each of its previous eight games.
After scoring four runs in the fourth inning, the Broncos were shut out the remainder of the game. On the other side of the field, the Terriers put together a surge in the last few innings to win 8-4. Hynes pitched a complete game, allowing 10 hits, while only walking one batter.
Senior shortstop Brittany Clendenny and senior catcher Amy Ekart, who each had a hit and two RBI, led the Terriers to the victory.
“[Our seniors] have done a tremendous job on and off the field of leading us,” Gleason, said. “I think their fight every day is just contagious. They’ve really embraced all the newcomers.”
The second day of the tournament brought less than favorable results for BU. The Terriers started out Saturday evening against the University of California-Davis. Their matchup against the Aggies (7-15) was the Terriers’ closest of the tournament as teams traded runs from the third to the fifth inning.
Tied up at the end of seven, the game headed to extra innings. After the Terriers put up nothing in the top half of the frame, Aggie senior Caitlin Voss was able to reach base on an error, bringing in the runner from third for the walk-off victory.
The nightcap featured a rematch of the opener against Seattle, but bore similar results. Seattle pitcher Lindsay Davis was able to hold BU to just one run on seven hits in her six innings of work. Hynes came out strong, allowing no runs through three innings. Eventually, the Redhawks got the better of Hynes, scoring four runs in the final three innings to win 4-1. BU’s only run of the contest came courtesy of an RBI single from Hynes, scoring junior center fielder Kendra Meadows.
Wrapping up the weekend, the team squared off against Davis again, looking to return home on a high note. The Aggies, however, had a different idea.
The majority of the damage done against BU was in a sloppy fourth inning. After a home run from Aggie sophomore Kelly Zboralske, Hynes was pulled from the circle with the bases loaded. In a relief appearance, Russell walked in two runs and forced another in on a hit batsman as Aggies tallied four and batted around during the frame.
BU was able to drive in three runs, including two from senior first baseman Chelsea Kehr, but that was not enough as the Terriers for the fourth time in the weekend, this time by a score of 4-3.
Despite a tough weekend, the Terriers’ offense proved to be strong. The bats amassed 28 runs off 47 hits during the tournament. Gleason said while the rest of the team has been up-and-down, the offense has provided some needed stability.
“That seems to be the one facet of our game that seems to be consistent right now,” Gleason said of the offense. “They’re aggressive yet disciplined, and they wait for their pitch.”