The Boston University softball team extended its win streak to five games this past weekend as it defeated the University of Massachusetts-Lowell on April 17 and then completed a three-game sweep of Colgate University this past Saturday and Sunday.
In their 9-1 win against the River Hawks (8-29), the Terriers (24-18, 8-4 Patriot League) were clicking on all cylinders.
Prior to the sixth inning, BU got two runs in the top of the third, one coming on an error by Lowell shortstop Alisha Welsh that scored Jayme Mask. The other came from a double courtesy of senior shortstop Brittany Clendenny.
Then in the top of the sixth, two runs were plated on a double by freshman first baseman Gabi Martinez, which followed up by an RBI single from senior right fielder Jayme Mask. The Terriers would add one more when Mask scored on catcher Kathryn Donovan’s errant throw on a steal attempt.
The Terriers tacked on three more runs in the seventh with the help of a two-run double by junior second baseman Emily Felbaum. An RBI single from senior catcher Amy Ekart added some more insurance for the Terriers.
“We had some great at-bats and I think that’s what we continued to do into the weekend as well,” said BU coach Kathryn Gleason. “We had some great at-bats and kept battling and battling and then in the later innings is when we’ve been scoring.”
The River Hawks were held to only two hits on the day due to the stellar pitching of sophomore pitcher Melanie Russell. She finished the contest with a complete game and six strikeouts. This was her first time seeing extended action since returning from injury.
“It was great for Mel Russell to get out there and pitch a complete game,” Gleason said. “The ball was moving and just to get back out there and get comfortable.”
After the win over Lowell, the Terriers then faced Colgate (9-24, 2-10 Patriot League) in a doubleheader on April 19. BU took the first two games by scores of 5-2 and 8-1, respectively.
In the first game Russell again as went the distance, allowing only three hits and whiffing an impressive 10 batters.
All of BU’s five runs came in the top of the sixth when Ekart and freshman infielder Brittany Younan each had two RBI hits. To go along with those hits, an error from left fielder Tara Grennan allowed the Terriers to add the fifth run.
The second game saw another dominant pitching performance from the Terriers, as well as a poor Colgate defense that committed eight errors.
Freshman pitcher Makinna Akers made the start and pitched a complete game, allowing just six hits in the win.
After Colgate scored an early run in the bottom of the first, BU responded with three runs in the top of the second. Ekart continued her impressive weekend when she drove in the third run of the inning. BU scored five more runs throughout the game, aided in large by Colgate errors.
In the last game of the weekend, the Terriers put down the Raiders one more time in a 7-2 victory.
“It was a great weekend for the team and we were down in every single game,” Gleason said. “[The team] just kept battling and started comebacks, and I thought we just had some great performances from all three pitchers.”
Senior first baseman Chelsea Kehr started the BU offensive rally in the sixth inning when she delivered BU’s first run with a single. Felbaum continued her hot streak with a two-run double to give BU a 3-2 lead.
In the top of the seventh, Younan and Clendenny delivered again with an RBI singles, helping the Terriers pull away from Colgate.
The wins over the Raiders helped the Terriers’ standing in the Patriot League, something the team aimed to do in the weekend series
“It was something that the team wanted to accomplish,” Gleason said about the standings. “We didn’t talk about it, but it was always nice to take the three games and put us in position for the rest of the season and the last two weeks we have in the Patriot League.”
It was a successful road trip for the Terriers who have now followed a four-game losing streak with a five-game winning streak. Gleason said she believes the team still needs to improve their overall consistency with only a couple of weeks left in the season.
“Being consistent on defense and pitching, we need to get our pitching staff on track,” Gleason said. [Akers] and [Russell] still need to get into a rhythm and build their endurance. They’ve only been back about a week so getting them some practice and getting them into game situations is the most important thing for them.
“We played great defense over the weekend and then just getting consistent at the plate. We moved the batting order around a bit and they adjusted every time we’ve done that.”