Softball, Sports

Softball anticipates Commonwealth Avenue showdown versus Boston College

Senior outfielder Emma Wong had six runs in the Nor’easter Invitational over the weekend. PHOTO BY JUSTIN HAWK/ DFP FILE PHOTO

It’s rivalry time on the BU Softball Field. The Boston University softball team will welcome Boston College to Allston Wednesday afternoon and look to continue its recent stretch of dominance, which has included eight consecutive wins.

The Terriers (16-14) swept all six of their games in the Nor’easter Invitational this past weekend, making for an enticing matchup with the Eagles (12-15), winners of their last three games.

Last season, BC knocked off BU in their only matchup 3-1. The Terriers also fell to the Eagles twice in the 2016.

“It’s always exciting to face a rival, especially Boston College,” BU head coach Ashley Waters said. “They’ve had our number the past two times we’ve played so everyone is a little more amped up than usual.”

The Terriers took two games from the University of Hartford by a combined score of 18-11, swept Iona College 12-2 in two games, pieced Bryant University 10-1 and silenced Central Connecticut State University 6-2 in the weekend tournament in New Britain and West Hartford, Connecticut.

BU’s originally scheduled games against the University of Maine and Manhattan College were cancelled due to the anticipated field conditions at the BU Softball Field.

“I think we are heading into the regular season feeling really good,” Waters said. “It was good to have a solid tournament last weekend in preparation before we face some of the best teams in the Northeast.”

The second contest against Iona (8-13) — a 4-2 Terrier victory, which took nine innings on Sunday — was the most electrifying triumph of the round-robin tournament.

Senior outfielder Emma Wong played the role of hero in the bottom of the eighth.

Wong stopped a possible Iona run by firing a laser to junior catcher Alex Heinen to nab the runner at the plate and pushed the game to an extra inning.

Heinen then parlayed the momentum into the top of the following frame. The most dangerous hitter in the lineup lived up to her billing, smashing a two-run homer to left field with one out in the inning to hand BU the victory.

In the second game of the day, the Terriers jumped all over Central Connecticut State (9-14).

Senior infielder Brittany Younan highlighted the win with an RBI triple in the second inning — her eighth triple of the season — while senior center fielder Jilee Schanda and junior designated hitter Alexa Ponce each ripped RBI doubles to guide BU to the win.

The winning streak is the Terriers’ longest in non-conference play since 2006, something that has been achieved through solid performances at the plate.

BU has three usual faces in the lineup hitting above 35 percent for the season: Wong (.375), Heinen (.366) and junior infielder Madi Killebrew (.362).

Killebrew’s on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) this season is a stellar .929. Heinen’s OPS of .895 is not far behind that.

The Eagles pitching staff proved their worth this past weekend, making for a great matchup on Thursday.

BC’s offense is led by senior shortstop and second baseman Chloe Sharabba, whose batting average is .368. Senior outfielder Annie Murphy is not far behind, with a .302 hitting percentage.

BC blanked the University of Virginia twice in three games and outscored the Cavaliers (9-22) by a 21-6 margin.

Senior pitcher Jessica Dreswick helped shutout Virginia and has only given up an average of 2.38 runs in 24 games.

The Eagles will signify a measuring stick for BU with Patriot League foe the United States Military Academy waiting on deck this Saturday.

“We got a lot of momentum this past weekend,” Waters said. “I hope we can keep it by getting through BC and then [getting] focused for what is always a difficult Patriot League.”

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