Seeking its sixth consecutive victory, the Boston University softball team soundly defeated the University of Rhode Island by a score of 7-4 Tuesday afternoon.
The Terriers (25-18, 9-4 Patriot League) wasted no time getting on the board, scoring six runs in the game’s first two innings.
“We started out great with four runs right off the bat,” said BU coach Kathryn Gleason. “Around the fourth and fifth inning we put it in cruise control instead of putting it away and that’s a little disappointing.”
In the first inning, senior shortstop Brittany Clendenny hit her first home run of the year, a two-run blast over the right field wall, getting the offense going for the Terriers. BU would tack on two more in the inning courtesy of a two-run single by sophomore designated hitter and pitcher Lauren Hynes.
“I was happy to finally get a hit because the weekend before there literally could have been one player on the field and I would have hit it to them,” Clendenny said. “It was finally good to get a hit where nobody could catch it.”
Clendenny delivered again in the second inning with an RBI single, though she was thrown out trying to extend the hit into a double. Senior first baseman Chelsea Kehr also had an RBI single in the inning.
“Today was a lot different from how we usually play,” Clendenny said. “We’re a team that usually scores in the late innings and we came out right on top of it and scored four in the first and two in the second so it was good to be different.”
BU continued its recent streak of strong pitching, as freshman pitcher Makinna Akers pitched six innings, allowing only seven hits and three runs on the afternoon.
Akers faced trouble in the top of the fifth inning when the Rams (11-29) scored a run on three hits with two outs, threating to score more before Akers coaxed a groundout from catcher Stacey Fox to limit the damage.
The Terriers answered though, as Hynes sent junior second baseman Emily Felbaum home on an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth
After the Terriers built a six-run lead, senior catcher Amy Ekart and freshman center fielder Moriah Connolly were replaced, something Gleason said she wanted to do to give them some needed rest.
“Just trying to get them a couple innings off, Gleason said of the move. “Amy’s been catching all season and just getting her a couple innings off, but just giving other people opportunities too.”
Akers’ strong effort was cut short in the sixth inning after allowing back-to-back doubles that made the score 7-2. The freshman ended up being replaced by Hynes.
“I think [Akers] was trying to guide the ball a little bit and wasn’t as confident,” Gleason said. “It’s the same thing with the hitters at the plate, they try to think too much instead of just going up there and swinging the bat. It happens with the pitchers too.”
Hynes allowed a single that scored a run, and an error by Felbaum allowed a run to reach home before Hynes closed the game on a groundout.
The Terriers pitching staff has only allowed 10 runs during their six-game win streak after allowing 18 during their four-game losing streak.
With eight of their last nine regular season games at home, Clendenny and the Terriers are excited to get the chance to close out the season on a high note.
“It was a great day to play, beautiful weather and being on our home field too,” Clendenny said. “We have tons of home games coming up so I think its going to be good for the freshmen to play on our home field and be able to have our parents and friends come down since the school year is winding down it’ll be good for us.”