The University of Hartford should regret the two days it set foot in the batting box this season against Boston University redshirt junior pitcher Cassidi Hardy.
A day after allowing one run in a complete-game win against the Hawks (13-14, 6-4 America East), Hardy one-upped herself yesterday by pitching another complete game down in Hartford, Conn. This time she shut out the Hawks, allowing three hits with five strikeouts and three walks on the way to a 3-0 BU (27-12, 7-3) victory in the rubber game of a three-game series.
It was Hardy’s outstanding Sunday performance that forced BU coach Shawn Rychcik’s hand and earned the redshirt junior another start.
‘She has been our best pitcher right now, and we needed to win a conference game, so we threw her back out there,’ Rychcik said. ‘I thought she threw pretty well [on Sunday], so I decided she would be the best to go out there again today.”
Over the past two days, Hardy has thrown a total of 14 innings, retiring 42-of-52 Hartford batters for an opponent’s batting average of .192. The redshirt junior accrued nine strikeouts over the two wins, bringing her season record to 14-4. That equals her win total from a season ago, when she earned All-Conference Second Team honors.
The win puts the Terriers squarely into second place in America East, after the split of a Sunday doubleheader kept the Terriers and Hawks deadlocked at the second spot in the conference with 6-3 records. BU trails only Stony Brook University (26-7, 9-2) in the America East standings. BU meets Stony Brook for a trio of home games this weekend.
‘[With the games coming up against Stony Brook], one ‘-‘- we control our own destiny, and two ‘-‘- we’ve played some of the hardest teams in this conference, like [the University at Albany], Hartford and [the University of Maryland-Baltimore County],’ Rychcik said. ‘If we continue to play well, I think we’ve put ourselves in a good spot. After being in second place and playing the teams we’ve played, I’m really happy.”
Offensively, senior shortstop Melissa Dubay went 2-for-4 with one RBI out of the third spot for BU. Dubay’s RBI came in her first at-bat in the top of the first inning. After sophomore center fielder April Setterlund stroked a double to the gap in left-center field, Dubay singled up the middle to drive in Setterlund for the game’s first run – the only run the Terriers would need.
That RBI moved Dubay closer to the all-time career record in the category, currently held by Chiya Louie (’07) with 125. Dubay now has 117 on her career and a team-leading 33 this season with 11 games to go.
‘I’ve seen some of the record-setters here in program history, and I know how good they were,’ Rychcik said. ‘It makes me realize what kind of special careers some of these record-setting seniors have had here with me. For me, it’s really special, and I’m proud of them. I’m glad they came to BU so we could all be a part of this.’
Earlier, the double by Setterlund allowed her to inch closer to another BU record. The two-bagger was Setterlund’s 12th of the season, equaling her output from 2008 and putting her one short of Dawn MacMillan’s single-season record, which has stood since 1996.
The Terriers also got a strong offensive performance from freshman standout second baseman Emily Roesch. Batting out of the cleanup spot for the first time this season, Roesch went 2-for-4 at the plate.
Monday afternoon also brought news that Roesch was named the America East Rookie of the Week for the third time this season. She hit the game-winning home run in last Wednesday’s 7-4 win over Maine.
The Terriers’ other two runs came on the insurance variety in the fourth and sixth innings, on RBI doubles by junior first baseman Rachel Hebert and senior left fielder Shayne Lotito. The three-run performance meant that BU had scored three runs in all three games of the series against Hartford, going 2-1 in those games.