Softball offense thrives early in season

The opening of the Boston University softball team’s 2014 season has been nothing but inconsistent. While the Terriers (11-10, 1-0 Patriot League) brought back a winning record with them after their trip to Florida over break, the team seems to have not yet hit its stride.

SARAH FISHER/DAILY FREE PRESS FILE PHOTO Senior Jayme Mask earned Patriot League Player of the Week for her play at the Michele Smith Spring Break Tournament.

SARAH FISHER/DAILY FREE PRESS FILE PHOTO
Senior Jayme Mask earned Patriot League Player of the Week for her play at the Michele Smith Spring Break Tournament.

BU’s bats have certainly been working for the team as they have scored 111 runs over their first 21 games and currently lead the Patriot League in average runs per game with 5.3. Seven of the team’s 11 victories have been by four runs or more while four of its last eight games have been won in shortened contests, including victories over Providence College and the University of Maine.

Similarly, the Terriers have only been shut out twice so far this season including their latest, a 7-0 loss to Butler University in the final of this past weekend’s Michele Smith Spring Break Tournament.

In the field, however, the Terriers have faltered thus far. BU has given up 22 unearned runs off of 31 errors this season, which has cost the team dearly. On three separate occasions, errors have directly led to losses while errors in other games have made a few of their victories a little too close for comfort.

 

Mask, Connolly lead charge

 

With most of the team hitting the leather off the ball, two Terriers have been opening eyes over the past week with their plate presence. While senior right fielder Jayme Mask showed why she’s one of this teams leaders this over the past week, freshman outfielder Moriah Connolly held the hottest bat on the team over the weekend, boasting a monstrous .462 average for the tournament.

While switching duties between designated hitter and center field, Connolly, a Patriot League Player of the Week back in late February, has hit safely in five of her last seven games, including a three hit performance against Maine (8-8) as well as the sole hit in the Terriers’ latest showing against Butler (7-15).

Mask served as one of the teams’ various other offensive spark plugs throughout the week, as her ten steals, .455 average, eight runs, and four RBI led her to her first Patriot League Player of the Week award this season and fourth in her career. In last Tuesday’s doubleheader turned offensive clinic, BU routed both Quinnipiac University and Cleveland State University, and Mask was the one who stole the show.

She went a combined 5-for-7 with five stolen bases in the team’s second game against the Vikings (10-10). The five steals in one game broke both her old school record and a Patriot League record that stood for 22 years. The Terriers won both games that day by a score of 9-1 in only five innings. Just 21 games into the season, Mask has a chance to break her single-season record for steals of 37 set last year.

 

Hynes steps up

 

Taking the focus to the circle, consistency has finally been found in sophomore pitcher Lauren Hynes in the win column. Hynes dropped five of her first six decisions this season, the majority of which came in very close games, excluding only her complete-game victory against Santa Clara University on Feb. 28. One of those losses was the heartbreaking extra-inning loss that came from a botched throw by senior shortstop Brittany Clendenny in extra innings.

In her last five games however, Hynes has turned it around, notching victories in four of her last five, including a five-inning, complete game victory against Quinnipiac (2-15) on Mar. 11, as well as the wins against Maine, Long Island University-Brooklyn and Miami University (Ohio).

Hynes’ one loss during that timeframe was in the game against Butler in which she gave up four runs and lasted only one inning while the Terrier bats practically abandoned her and her successor, freshman pitcher Makinna Akers.

Even with the outlier of the Butler game, Hynes sports a 2.44 ERA over her last five games, including shutout performances in her wins against LIU–Brooklyn (9-20) and Miami (9-12).

Coach Kathryn Gleason was unable to comment at the time of publication

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