Softball, Sports

Despite three losses, Schanda shines for softball

Junior Jilee Schanda was the only Terrier to hit well on Wednesday, and she has steadily improved throughout the seaason. PHOTO BY ALEXANDRA WIMLEY/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

With one out in the first inning of Wednesday’s game against the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Boston University junior Jilee Schanda smacked a grounder toward second base. The centerfielder reached on an infield single, the first of her three hits in the contest. Over her past three games, the Fresno, California native has reached base in eight out of 10 chances.

“I came off a pretty bad day on Sunday and after feeling that way I needed to reset and be better,” Schanda said. “At the plate I am just trying to be a little bit more in control.”

On Tuesday against UMass Lowell (16-17), Schanda went 3-4 with a home run and two runs scored. In that contest, BU (14-24, 6-3 Patriot League) collected just six hits as a team to Lowell’s 17. Schanda’s home run to straight away centerfield was her second of the season and the third of her career.

“I felt like previous to these past at bats, I was feeling a bit distant and disconnected with the way my swing was going, so I just tried to watch the ball out of the hand and then went from there,” she said.

In the first game of a doubleheader against Marist College on Wednesday afternoon, Schanda went 1-1 with an RBI double and earned two walks. In the second game, she collected a pair of singles along with a stolen base.

“She’s a great player,” said BU head coach Ashley Waters. “For someone in the two spot, her job if Moriah Connolly gets on base, is to move her and make something happen. I think she’s done a good job driving the ball and keeping it simple.”

Schanda has been the lone bright spot for the Terriers over their past three contests, seemingly the only player to look confident at the plate.

“Hitting is a funny thing,” Schanda said. “Coach always says try to pass the bat, so that’s how I always look at it. If I can get a spark going maybe the people behind me can feel confident enough to continue that spark. I’ve always just tried to focus on letting my teammates do the work behind me and if I get on, I give them a better opportunity to do that.”

Schanda did just that in the game against UMass Lowell, where she reached on another infield single after Lowell starting pitcher Kaysee Talcik had retired 14 straight batters. On the next pitch, sophomore catcher Alex Heinen doubled home Schanda to tie the game.

A blip in the Terriers season, BU had won six of seven going into Wednesday after losing eight straight games. With three consecutive losses, Waters said her team is far from where it needs to be as the postseason looms.

“We actually have to show up and play good softball to win games,” Waters said. When asked about what the team needed to focus on for this weekend’s Patriot League matchup against Lafayette, she said, “Everything. I don’t think we hit well, I don’t think we fielded well, and I don’t think we pitched well. They know what they need to do, they’ve gotten themselves to a good spot in the Patriot League, other than that, nothing is guaranteed.”

Carrying the momentum of Schanda’s hot bat, the Terriers will move forward to pivotal conference matchups to end the regular season.

“I want to continue contributing any way that I can,” Schanda said. “As a team, I am just hoping that we can get it back together when we get back to conference. We have a lot of important games coming up. We have a lot of important games coming up so we need to stick together as a team and go from there.”

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