Softball, Sports

BU softball outlasts UMass Lowell, sweeps doubleheader

Freshman catcher/infielder Nicole Amodio got the walk-off victory in Game 2 of the Terriers’ doubleheader against UMass Lowell Wednesday afternoon. RACHEL SHARPLES/ DFP STAFF

The Boston University softball team played an afternoon doubleheader Wednesday at the BU softball field against the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

The Terriers (25-17, 8-1 Patriot League) swept the River Hawks (20-14, 8-0) and snapped Umass Lowell’s 12-game win streak with two one-run victories.

With darkness coming down on the field in the second leg, the Terriers were given one final chance by the umpires to bat with the game knotted at 2-2.

That was all freshman infielder Nicole Amodio needed, as she knocked a walk-off double over the Lowell right fielder’s head to bring in the winning run from second.

BU head coach Ashley Waters said every close game the team wins is a huge boost.

“It’s not fun unless we walk it off,” Waters said. “I think it’s great to have to come back, I think it’s great to work in pressure situations. … I think it’s important for our team that we’ve experienced some adversity.”

Game 1: BU 4, Lowell 3

The Terriers defeated the River Hawks late in the first game of the doubleheader on senior infielder Alexa Ponce and sophomore infielder Marina Sylvestri’s consecutive RBI singles in the fifth inning and held on to win 4-3.

Sophomore pitcher Ali DuBois picked up her 17th win on the season as she worked around seven hits, struckout eight and went the distance.

DuBois was opposed by Lowell pitcher Kaysee Talcik, who also went the distance as she struckout two and was tagged for four runs by the Terrier offense.

Lowell held the lead briefly, as the River Hawks broke a 2-2 deadlock in the top of the fifth inning on an RBI single after a throwing error put a runner on second base.

That lead was erased quickly, as BU bounced back for two runs in the bottom of the fifth on Ponce and Sylvestri’s singles.

DuBois gave up a leadoff double in the top of the seventh but worked around it as she induced a pop-fly and flyout and struck out the last batter of the game on a full count to secure the win.

Game 2: BU 3, Lowell 2

As daylight began to fade at the BU softball field, the umpires told Waters the bottom of the ninth would be her team’s last at-bat of the game.

Fortunately for Waters, the Terriers would not leave the second game of the doubleheader with a tie because Amodio cranked a ball to the right field fence to walk-off on the River Hawks.

For the second game of Wednesday’s doubleheader, Terrier freshman pitcher Julia Handfield got the ball for her fourth start of the season, facing Lowell pitcher Lovina Capria.

However, Handfield was pulled early, and freshman Emily Gant turned in a spectacular relief appearance, as she scattered three hits across eight innings of work and struck out 11 River Hawks.

Waters said she was proud of how Gant picked up her teammate.

“For Emily to come in and clean that up, that’s our job, it’s a pitching staff,” she said. “We’ve got to help each other out at points.”

The River Hawks drew first blood in the second game when outfielder Sydney Barker drove an RBI double into the right-centerfield gap to make the score 1-0.

Lowell extended the lead to 2-0 at the start of the second inning with a solo shot to right-center by infielder Casey Harding.

After Waters called on Gant to relieve Handfield following the home run, Gant mowed down the first three batters she faced with a groundout and two consecutive strikeouts.

The Terrier offense finally broke through in the fourth inning when senior infielder Emily Morrow crushed a ball over the right field fence to bring BU within one, 2-1.

The Terriers threatened again in the bottom of the sixth as senior catcher Alex Heinen hit a one-out double, but Capria was able to escape the jam with two consecutive groundouts.

Sylvestri came up with another big hit in the doubleheader as she led off the bottom of the seventh with a double, which came after an intense eight-pitch at-bat where she fouled off four pitches. She was then replaced by a pinch runner: Gant.

Gant advanced to third on a deep fly-ball to center field by senior utility player Analisa Ruff and tied the game on a fielder’s choice when sophomore outfielder Jen Horita connected with the top of her bat and hit a slow-roller to the second baseman.

The top of the eighth went quickly for the River Hawks as Gant went one-two-three, bringing the Terriers to the plate looking to complete the comeback win.

The Terriers threatened to win the game in the bottom of the eighth, but the winning run was held 90 feet away to extend the game.

In the top of the ninth, the River Hawks doubled with one out, but Gant struck out the next batter and then forced a groundout to herself to end the threat.

Ruff led off the bottom of the ninth with a leadoff single past the diving second baseman and advanced to second base when Horita chopped a ball to the first baseman.

Finally, with one out in the bottom of the ninth, Amodio hit the walk-off double over the right fielder’s head to secure the win.

What’s next

The Terriers head to Easton, Pennsylvania this weekend to play their third-to-last Patriot League series against Lafayette University.

Waters said the Terriers need to sharpen up their play as the regular season comes to a close.

“Today, playing a better team exposed a lot,” she said. “Today was great to take some notes and go back to the drawing board. We’ve been really focusing on hitting, and I felt like defense was exposed today.”

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