In the first of its two games this week, the Boston University softball team will head up to Dartmouth College Wednesday for a key non-conference matchup.
With them, the Terriers (19-14, 4-2 Patriot League) hope to bring the momentum they gained after taking two of three games from Patriot League rivals Lehigh University as they search for their 20th victory of the season.
The Big Green (18-13) have a bit of momentum on their side as well, winning eight straight games and have not to dropped a home contest yet this season.
BU coach Kathryn Gleason said she has confidence in her team’s strategy coming in against a streaking Dartmouth team.
“Well, Lehigh was on a winning streak as well,” Gleason said of the Terriers’ series victory against a red-hot Lehigh (18-12, 7-2 Patriot League) squad. “So we just play our game and we just go in with our strength and the same game plan that we’ve had all year: just attack, be aggressive and play our game.”
Leading the pack for the Big Green is pitcher Morgan McCalmon who was recently named Ivy League Player of the Week for the second straight time. Since Ivy League play began, McCalmon has hit the ball extraordinarily well.
After picking up six RBI against defending Ivy League champions University of Pennsylvania, McCalmon has compiled a .538 average while hitting four homeruns and driving in 15 runs. With McCalmon leading the hot Dartmouth offense that is hitting .286 as team, this matchup looks to be some of the Terriers’ toughest competition yet this season.
Following their trip up north, the Terriers will come back home on for one more game this week. Exactly one week after a disappointing five-inning 8-0 loss to Boston College in Chestnut Hill, BU will welcome the Eagles (18-16) to Boston this Thursday for a chance at redemption.
Last week at Shea Field, Eagle sophomore Jessie Daulton stole the show. Although she only had two hits, they came when it mattered most.
In the very first inning, Daulton teed off on a pitch from sophomore pitcher Lauren Hynes for a double that cleared the bases, driving in three Eagle runs. Later in the game, Daulton connected again off Hynes, this time for a two-run home run down the left field line.
Seeing as how BU’s pitching has been devastated by injuries, it is likely that Hynes will be facing off against Daulton, making for an interesting rematch between the two.
“I think part of that was a little fatigue,” said Gleason on Hynes’ performance last week against BC. “Just mentally and physically from the weekend that we had at [the U.S. Military Academy]. [She needs to just get] herself in the right mindset.
“I thought she did a great job of that over the weekend against Lehigh, just taking one game at a time every time she takes the mound and just getting mentally ready.”
Hynes has risen to the occasion over the last few weeks. Since the latest injury to freshman pitcher Makinna Akers at Army (17-17, 5-4 Patriot League), the sophomore has been tasked with all the duties in the circle. During that span, she has pitched 39.1 innings with a 3.38 ERA and four notches in the win column.
Aside from their impressive victory last week, the Eagles have been struggling to maintain consistent play. Since the beginning of March, they team has teetered around the .500 mark, with each win streak balanced out by an equally long losing skid. .
The BU offense has been thriving all season, and after back-to-back wins against Lehigh, the Terriers are hitting a strong .312. With BC’s inconsistencies and the Terriers raking at the plate, the game could potentially open the door wide enough for Hynes and the BU bats to come in and take the victory against the Commonwealth Avenue foe.
“I think it’s just a great rivalry,” Gleason said. “It just makes the game more exciting and fun. We’ve been pretty steady all year at just taking it one game at a time. We’ll just be excited to be playing at home.
“Any time we get the opportunity to play, we’re excited.”