In its first home game of the season, the Boston University softball team used a three-run sixth inning to defeat the University of Connecticut by a score of 3-1.
“It’s nice to be on our home field,” said BU coach Kathryn Gleason. “I think we had confidence that some of those hits would go through. We’re disappointed for leaving 10 runners on base in the first two innings, you like to break through in the first couple innings and put the pressure back on them.”
The Terriers (17-12, 2-1 Patriot League) repeatedly failed to score with runners in scoring position early in the game before breaking through in the sixth to pull ahead.
Freshman third baseman Brittany Younan got the Terriers on the board when she struck a ball that Huskies’ (7-21) third baseman Emily O’Donnell could not handle, driving in junior Kendra Meadows who was pinch running.
After that, senior shortstop Brittany Clendenny came to the plate and laced a hit into the outfield that plated freshman center fielder Moriah Connolly and senior right fielder Jayme Mask that locked up the win for the Terriers. Clendenny looked to advance to second on the play, but was gunned down.
Clendenny’s hit came after her previous at bat where she hit a would-be single up the middle, but UConn shortstop Lexi Gifford made a diving stop to take away the hit and a possible two runs.
However, the real star of the contest was sophomore pitcher Lauren Hynes. The sophomore tossed a complete game for the Terriers that included six strikeouts and only three hits allowed.
UConn’s only run of the game came in the sixth inning after the BU defense made two errors in the frame. After that though, Hynes buckled down and kept the Terriers in the game.
Hynes has had to take even more a lead in the circle because BU will be without freshman pitcher Makinna Akers for an undetermined period of time due to her being struck by a line drive in the team’s win over the U.S. Military Academy on Monday.
“It felt really good especially since we’ve had some injuries on our staff,” Hynes said about the win. “I know I had to step up and pitch a full game because I know we don’t really have a backup at this point so it’s what I needed to do.”
While there is no timetable for Akers’ return, Gleason said she is confident in the pitcher’s spirit.
“No we don’t know yet [her return date], but she’s a tough kid and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was pretty soon,” Gleason said.
Without any safety net, Hynes said she knows how crucial it is to put opposing hitters in tough situations.
“I was trying to get ahead of their batters,” Hynes said. “[UConn] didn’t swing at a lot of first pitches so I just tried to throw strikes because I knew I needed to throw the whole game, so the more batters I can get away and shut down in the least amount of pitches and to be effective and quick with their batters was my strategy.”
Her efforts against the Huskies as well as the 13 combined innings she pitched against Army in a doubleheader on Monday have shown Gleason what the pitcher is capable of.
“She’s stepped up the last couple days for us especially at Army on Monday and today,” Gleason said. “She’s had to step up and I think the key for her today was she just got a head of batters and she didn’t walk anybody. It makes it a lot easier to get ahead when you don’t walk anyone.”
With Akers out, BU will be forced to rely more and more on its offense, something Gleason said she has no problem doing.
“I think our offense will be able to handle it,” said Gleason. “You just have to score one more than the other team, doesn’t matter what the score is.”