Following a game in which the Boston University softball team was overpowered, the Terriers ultimately fell short of topping Marist College.
The Red Foxes (23-7) relied on the long ball in their doubleheader sweep, winning the first game by a score of 9-3 and stealing a 5-4 victory in the last inning of the reverse fixture.
Heading into the doubleheader, BU (11-18, 0-3 Patriot League) knew it had its hands full, as Marist had won eight straight, was hitting above .300 and put forth a nearly 2.9 ERA.
In the very first inning of game one, though, Red Fox pitcher Megan Beiermeister had trouble keeping a handle on the ball, as she walked the lead off batter and junior shortstop Brittany Younan. She was quickly brought around to score thanks to two wild pitches.
Workhorse senior pitcher Lauren Hynes got the expected nod in the circle, and while she got through the first without any damage, things went immediately south after. Hynes struggled mightily in the second inning, ending her day by surrendering back-to-back home runs in the second inning. It was her shortest start of the season.
BU head coach Ashley Waters accredited Marist’s long at-bats against the team’s ace to the toughness of the opponent.
“They had some kids who fouled off some good pitches,” Waters said. “It went one way or the other … I don’t think Lauren [Hynes] looked her best, but at the same time, that’s a good-hitting team.”
Junior pitcher Makinna Akers took over from there, but the damage was already done. The Terriers tacked on two more runs in the fourth, but three more runs in the sixth inning from the Red Foxes wrapped up Marist’s victory in the first leg.
While Marist’s power seemed to overwhelm BU in game one, the Terriers couldn’t drive home runs when they needed to, as they left nine runners on base.
However, an entirely different team showed up for the second game. Senior pitcher Melanie Russell got the call and got off to a great start. She didn’t allow a hit until the bottom of the third inning and got plenty of help from her offense.
In the top of the second, freshman second baseman Alexa Ponce — one of two Terriers with an RBI in game one — drove in two runs off of Marist pitcher Kallen Leeseberg. BU finished the inning with three runs, and Ponce finished the day with three RBIs. Junior catcher Gabi Martinez hit one out of the park in the third inning, her third dinger of the season, and extended BU’s lead.
“She did a great job,” Waters said of Ponce. “She got a lot of opportunities early on and some of the situations didn’t work out. But fortunately for her, she jumped in and had a two-game start at second base and she swung the bat really well, so I was happy with the way that she came out.”
Russell looked great in the circle, striking out seven Red Foxes and allowing just seven hits. She held Marist to just one run through six innings, but things fell apart in the seventh. After hitting one batter and walking the next, Russell surrendered a three-run home run that tied the game at four. Two batters later, Marist outfielder Gabrielle Kelliher came up big in a pinch-hit spot, driving in the winning run and sending the Terriers home disappointed.
While Waters was extremely disappointed with the way the Terriers performed in the first game, saying that it “should have been a whole different scenario,” she was impressed with the way her team regrouped.
“That’s the trick with softball,” Waters said. “There’s a really short period for reflection. Usually [we play] doubleheaders, so you have to move on pretty quickly. They did a good job of starting out fresh and coming out swinging.”