Save for junior outfielder Jilee Schanda, the Boston University softball team had no offensive spark in a 4-2 nine-inning loss against the University of Massachusetts Lowell on Tuesday.
Having won six of its seven last games, the Terriers (14-22, 6-3 Patriot League) were held to just one base runner until the top of the seventh inning.
“I give a lot of credit to UMass Lowell,” said BU head coach Ashley Waters. “I think that they’ve gotten better and better, and I think that’s a really good team. We had to play our best and we obviously had to play better to get that win.”
Schanda had a remarkable game for the Terriers, going 3-4 with a homerun, the third of her career and second this season. Schanda scored both Terrier runs on the afternoon against River Hawks (16-17) starting pitcher Kaysee Talcik.
“I thought Jilee had a great day at the plate,” Waters said. “Other than that, I think everyone was a little off, timing wise.”
Despite giving up 17 hits, the BU pitchers were able to limit Lowell’s offense to just four runs.
Senior Makinna Akers started the contest by shutting out Lowell through three innings. She faced a hiccup in the fourth inning as Lowell tacked on three hits and the game’s first run on a single.
Akers finished with a final line of 4.1 innings, seven hits and no walks after returning in the top of the ninth.
Freshman Kali Magane relieved Akers with two outs in the top of the fourth and eventually loaded the bases, but got leadoff hitter senior Tori Alcorn to pop out to sophomore second baseman Emily Morrow, ending the River Hawks’ threat.
Magane came back out for the fifth inning, yielding a single to freshman Marianne Sparacia. She then reached second base on an illegal pitch, but a failed hit-and-run attempt by designated hitter Emily O’Brien resulted in Sparacia being doubled up at second base. BU junior outfielder Emma Wong made a running catch in right field and threw a dart to Morrow to complete the double play.
In the top of the sixth inning, the River Hawks threatened again with runners on second and third with two outs, but sophomore third baseman Alexa Ponce stopped the threat with a catch.
Magane faced another base-loaded jam with two outs in the top of the eighth, but deflected a liner by Alcorn, which Morrow picked up next to second base and threw into senior infielder Gabi Martinez to end the inning.
The River Hawks blew it open in the top of the ninth inning. Samantha McQueen stroked a double to centerfield to lead off the inning. On the ensuing play, the right fielder scored on a fielder’s choice to take a 2-1 lead.
Later in the inning, first baseman Vanessa Cooper homered off of freshman Lizzie Annerino, extending the lead to 4-1.
“I don’t think we did a good job,” Waters said. “We definitely looked flat. I don’t think there was a lot of energy. I feel like our pitchers didn’t have a lot, so they had to kind of get crafty to get outs.”
Schanda led off the bottom of the ninth with a homerun to straightaway centerfield, but BU did not take advantage of the momentum. There will need to be a quick turnaround for the Terriers, as they will play a doubleheader at home against Marist College on Wednesday.
“We just have to get better. Everyday we have to get better,” Waters said. “We haven’t peaked yet, so I think for us if we are plateauing right now and think we’re doing good enough, we definitely aren’t, so we need to redo some things and get our minds right because it’s going to be a battle toward the end of the year.”