The Boston University softball team captured its second consecutive Patriot League series, beating a streaking Lehigh University team in two out of three weekend contests.
Over the last month, the Mountain Hawks (17-12, 7-2 Patriot League) have been firing on all cylinders, coming into the weekend riding a 12-game win streak. Lehigh hoped to continue its dominance against the Terriers (19-14, 4-2 Patriot League).
With injuries plaguing the already small BU pitching staff, sophomore pitcher Lauren Hynes was put in the spotlight as she was tasked with pitching all 21 innings of the weekend.
Saturday’s first game shaped up to be a pitchers’ duel when Hynes squared off against Lehigh pitcher Emily Bausher. After amassing only three hits in as many innings, Lehigh was able to get to Hynes in the top of the fourth for three runs off the bats of junior Cassie Waggy and sophomore MacKenzie Velasquez.
On the other side of the ball, a BU offense that had been dominating all season long stagnated. Bausher effectively mixed her pitch speeds to keep the Terrier batters off balance. Bausher struck out seven and only allowed one hit off the bat of senior shortstop Brittany Clendenny on her way to a complete-game shutout. Lehigh’s 3-0 victory was Bausher’s fourth win of the season.
“I think we were a little timid and we were swinging a lot at the rise ball,” said BU coach Kathryn Gleason on the team’s performance. “We were just guessing. We were just timid. In the second game, we said, ‘we gotta be different.’”
The second contest was where the BU offense got it going. After allowing two runs in the top of the frame, Hynes helped her own cause in the bottom of the first with an RBI double, bringing in senior first baseman Chelsea Kehr.
Hynes was able keep the game under control after that, shutting the Mountain Hawks for five innings and opening the door for the Terrier bats. BU capitalized on an error in the fifth and drove in three runs, with the two-RBI double from senior catcher Amy Ekart giving the Terriers the lead.
Lehigh threatened in the seventh with a two-out, two-run home run coming from sophomore Jessica Calvini, but it was not enough, as the Terriers took the second game 6-4.
After pitching 14 strong innings on Saturday, Hynes, had another great outing Sunday. After giving up Calvini’s second home run of the weekend in the second inning as well as one more run in the third, Hynes settled down and kept the score close enough for the Terrier offense to steal the show.
In the fifth inning, the floodgates opened. Singles from freshman third baseman Brittany Younan and junior second baseman Emily Felbaum started the frame. Clendenny started the RBI parade with a run-scoring single to right. Junior outfielder Jayme Mask followed up with a two-run double that BU the lead.
Batting around, the Terriers plated eight in the home half of the inning off of Lehigh pitchers Christine Campbell and Ashley Quigley. Another seventh-inning home run from Lehigh, a two-run shot from Waggy, failed to make a dent in the scoreboard. The Terriers won the game by a score of 8-4, winning their first home conference series of the season.
Mask could not say enough about the team’s effort over the weekend and throughout the season.
“This is the best chemistry on a team I’ve ever played on,” Mask said. “We all believe in each other that if I get up the next person behind me is gonna step up and pick me up.
“One of our goals at the beginning of the season was to win every series, so after we came up short in the first game, we knew we had to come out strong in the next two games.”