Victories continue to come for the Boston University softball team following a 4-3 victory over the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.
The win marked the 11th straight victory for the Terriers (30-18, 11-4 Patriot League), who continue to play some of their best softball of the season as they gear up for postseason play. Freshman pitcher Makinna Akers went the distance, tossing seven strong innings, allowing six hits with three runs, two walks and four strikeouts.
BU coach Kathryn Gleason said Monday’s win does not represent the team’s best output.
“I didn’t think we played all that great but we stuck it out and got the win,” Gleason said. “Sometimes you don’t play your best but you still get it done so I think we hung in there and did it. I think we could execute a little bit better on defensive plays.”
After shutting down the Riverhawks (9-35) for six innings, Akers allowed all three of her runs with two outs in the seventh after surrendering a three-run home run to Lowell center fielder Ariana Darcy.
“We have to be tough in the seventh inning,” Gleason said. “You have two outs, you have to get tough on the mound. [The home run was] just a ball up in the zone that we’ve got to get out of the zone or down. That’s what I talked to the pitchers about after the game — that people are scoring runs on home runs and that’s not acceptable, so they know it and we’ve just got to be better.”
Standouts for the Terriers at the plate included freshman third baseman Brittany Younan, who had two hits, three RBI and a stolen base, and senior catcher Amy Ekart, who had two hits, including a home run that started the scoring for the Terriers in the second inning.
“We’ve had different people step up throughout the lineup,” Gleason said. “Amy stepped up today and got us on the board early and Younan has gotten some key hits lately so you just never know who it is going to be.”
Ekart said the six-hit, four-run output did not highlight the strength of the Terrier lineup.
“Offensively, we probably could have been a little bit more assertive,” Ekart said. “Six hits isn’t really representative of the production of our lineup, but we got hits when it mattered and hits when runners were on base. Defensively, we had a few little miscues, but nothing we can’t clean up at this point in the season. It’s all about the little things so as long as we get those cleaned up, we’ll be good to go.”
Since dropping both games of a doubleheader against the College of the Holy Cross on April 12, the Terriers offense and pitching have clicked and helped spur the team on its current winning streak. Ekart said the two losses against the Crusaders were the turning point of the season.
“It kind of put things into perspective,” Ekart said. “You’re never your best on a good day and you’re never your worst on your worst day but those two losses kind of hit home. We needed to get things together, we needed to get the little things right and we needed to start producing in the lineup. You win as a team and you lose as a team, so I think that point really proved that and I don’t think we’ve lost since then.”
Both Ekart and Gleason said momentum has played a huge role in the team’s winning streak. However, both said the team needs to take it one game at a time to not get ahead of itself heading into the playoffs.
“It’s so cliché and everyone says that but when you get ahead of yourself, it’s a long season,” Ekart said. “It’s an over-50 game season and when you get things going and things clicking, you work on the little things and do the little things right. … As long as you can stay clicking, playing a team we will hopefully keep it going.”
Gleason said she hopes to keep the momentum up heading into the postseason.
“We’ve played five game in five days so they are tired and it’s the last week of school and they need to get some rest,” Gleason said. “It’s tough, but they grinded it out and I don’t think we think about the games and morale. You just take it one game at a time but we talk about momentum and try to keep it on our side and if it does get away from us, getting it back. Every game, every inning is trying to get the momentum.”