NCAA, Softball, Sports

Terriers defeat Army in extra-innings games filled with ‘fight’ and ‘grit’

Boston University softball winning streak
Junior Allison Boaz pitches during a previous home game this season. The Boston University softball team brought its winning streak to 26 this past weekend with three wins against the United States Military Academy. BAILEY SHEN/DFP STAFF

The Boston University softball team extended its NCAA-best win streak to 26 with three wins over the United States Military Academy this weekend, sweeping a Saturday afternoon doubleheader and winning the series finale Sunday.

The Saturday doubleheader matchups both went into extra innings, but the Terriers (37-13, 15-0 Patriot League) came out victorious in each, winning 2-0 and 2-1 over the Black Knights (18-31, 8-7 PL).

“We got to see some fight and some grit today,” head coach Ashley Waters said after the Saturday games. “I don’t think our offense was necessarily that hot.”

Though the doubleheader was low-scoring, there was no lack of excitement in either game. Strong pitching performances headlined the day alongside impressive catches in the field from both teams.

Junior pitchers Allison Boaz and Lizzy Avery held the fort down with six and nine strikeouts respectively. They each played a full game and let up six hits, three walks and one run collectively.

“[The pitchers] were brilliant. Avery had a little bit of a tough start,” Waters said. “There’s some days your pitchers are going to carry you and there’s some days your offense is going to carry you and today was definitely the day that Boaz and Avery kind of put the team on their back.” 

In the eighth inning of the first game, senior left fielder Emily Gant doubled to send sophomore pinch-runner Lauren Nett home for the first run in the game. Gant was then driven home by  graduate student center fielder Jen Horita’s single. With Boaz’s two strikeouts in the bottom of the eighth, BU held off Army’s comeback attempt to win 2-0. 

In the second game, the Black Knights opened up the scoring in the second inning, but the Terriers fought back to tie the game at one apiece in the fourth after sophomore infielder Kayla Roncin stole a base and sophomore right fielder Lauren Keleher advanced on a throwing error. Both teams held up defensively to send the game into extra innings. 

BU needed nine innings this time to win, but senior infielder AJ Huerta-Leipner walked with the bases loaded to send Roncin home to seal the deal.

“Coming back tomorrow, we need a different mindset. Obviously, we know these are two games that we grinded out, but they’re close, and I think when people are knocking on the door, that’s a lot of pressure,” Waters said. “We just have to do our best to separate and play a better game tomorrow.”

The Terriers did just that on Sunday, defeating Army 11-1 in a quick five innings.

The Terriers will welcome Lehigh University (24-16-1, 13-2 PL) next weekend to round out regular-season competition. Lehigh sits in second place in the Patriot League and can take first place with a weekend sweep over the Terriers.

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