The Boston University softball team will return to the BU Softball Field this week as they take on the University of Rhode Island (11-14) Thursday. The Terriers (13-15) look to bounce back after losing the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday 1-0.
This game will wrap up the Terriers’ non-conference schedule before they face the College of the Holy Cross in a three-game series this weekend to mark the start of Patriot League play.
BU coach Ashley Waters has said playing at home is a huge boost for the Terrier squad.
“We had fans, we had people yelling for us,” she said after last week’s 3-1 victory versus the University of Massachusetts. “That’s a really great thing.”
After a tough visit to California where the team went 0-5, BU bounced back with the home victory against UMass and then split a doubleheader in Connecticut against Siena College and Iona College.
Over that eight-game stretch, the Terrier offense averaged 1.4 runs per game while giving up an average of 2.6 runs per game.
Waters said offense is the key that the team has been focusing on.
“I really want to offensively get back on the board and find a way to score more than three runs a game,” she said.
Senior infielder Emily Morrow has led the team offensively to this point of the season. Morrow is batting .326, the highest average on the team by more than 40 points, and has the highest on-base percentage on the team with .398.
Senior catcher Alex Heinen is the RBI leader on the team with 19 runs batted in. Heinen also leads the team in home runs hit with six round-trippers.
On the pitching side, sophomore and reigning Patriot League Pitcher of the Year Ali DuBois has been the workhorse for the Terriers — appearing in 20 games — and holds a 10-6 record.
DuBois has thrown eight complete games on the season, with four of those being shutouts. Dubois has 96 strikeouts in 92 innings of work and sports a 1.75 earned run average.
After her complete game against UMass, Waters said she expects more strong play from Dubois.
“She was our horse last year, and someone we relied on heavily for a lot of our wins,” Waters said. “She wants the ball.”
Rhode Island enters the game with an 11-14 record. The Rams are currently on a four-game losing streak after being swept by St. Joseph’s in the start to the Atlantic 10 conference play, including two games that were ended due to the run rule.
The fourth game in the skid was a narrow 3-4 loss against Providence College.
For the Rams, freshman infielder Ari Castillo has been lighting up the scoresheet, batting .392 and having played in all 24 of Rhode Island’s games.
Her classmate, outfielder Sami Villarreal, is batting .364 on the season but is lethal on the basepaths, swiping nine bases in 13 attempts.
There are two pitchers on the Rams’ staff who have the majority of starts for the team. However, the real threat comes in relief for the Rams as senior Julia Waraksy boasts a 1.96 ERA with two saves.
The Terriers kick off Patriot League play this weekend, the start of an effort to defend last season’s conference championship they earned after beating Lehigh University 8-0.