During spring break, there is a vast amount of college students who travel to the warm climates of Florida, seeking a break from the norms of college life. The Boston University softball team also trekked down to the Sunshine State, but its trip was all business. The team went 8-5 in the University of South Florida Under Armour Invitational and Showcase tournaments in Clearwater, Fla. over the break.
The Terriers return home with a 13-6 record on the season, a vast improvement over the team’s 8-10 record after leaving Florida last season.
BU’s most impressive stretch came during a four-game winning streak, during which the Terriers’ pitching staff did not let a single run cross the plate, highlighted by a no-hitter by junior hurler Cassidi Hardy against Western Michigan University in the second game of a twin-billing on March 6. In the 4-0 Terrier win, Hardy struck out four while surrendering only two walks on the afternoon for the first no-hitter of her collegiate career.
‘Any time you throw a no-hitter in Division I, it’s a really big deal,’ BU coach Shawn Rychcik said. ‘There are a lot of good athletes no matter what program you’re playing. It’s a nice boost when your pitcher comes out and has that kind of command and control of the game.’
Hardy threw another shutout two days later against Fordham University, this time with seven punch-outs and only four hits allowed, and again on March 13 against Florida International University, for a total of three shutouts on the road trip.
The other members of the pitching staff were no slouches on the mound during the streak, either. Junior pitcher Megan Currier took a perfect game into the fifth inning against the University of Connecticut before allowing the first of four hits in her seven-inning complete game in the fifth frame of a 3-0 Terrier win. Freshman Kelley Engman had her best performance of the season with a two-hit outing against Robert Morris University in her first-ever shutout in the scarlet and white as BU won, 4-0.
On the offensive side of the scorecard, the Terriers debatably had their best performance on their last day in Clearwater against George Washington University. After finding themselves down, 5-1, with only six outs remaining, the Terriers were able to mount a five-run sixth inning to defeat the Colonials, 6-5.
Senior Shayne Lotito was able to get the rally going with a two-RBI single to make it a two-run ballgame. With Lotito and freshman Emily Roesch on the base paths, sophomore centerfielder April Setterlund was able to smack a three-run homer, her second of the year, to seal the comeback.’ ‘
Although Setterlund’s home run put the Terriers over the edge, Rychcik was quick to point out those who had set the table for the sophomore.
‘After 10 days in Florida, your 13th game, and you drop down, 5-1, that’s an easy time to say, ‘Well, they ran out of gas,’ but for the kids to keep fighting for the last couple innings [was huge],’ Rychcik said. ‘We got a huge hit by April, but everybody in front of her had to get on, too. It wasn’t just one person, but five or six people who had to do some things.’
The offense also scored eight runs in the shutout win against FIU, the most BU has scored in an individual game thus far this season. Seven different Terriers crossed the plate because BU was able to capitalize on five errors by FIU in the contest.
‘As a whole, we’re in a pretty good spot,’ Rychcik said. ‘We’re 13-6, and I’m sure there are a lot of teams in the nation who would love to be 13-6 right now to open up their season. On that note, we’re pretty happy with where we’re at.’
Game Notes: In the other contests, BU lost to Villanova University, 1-0, Central Michigan University, 7-6, Ball State University, 6-5, Jacksonville University, 9-3, and Long Island University, 5-2, and beat Central Michigan, 6-4, and East Tennessee State University, 3-1. ‘hellip; Freshman Emily Roesche was named the America East Rookie of the Week for the second time in as many weeks after batting .375 and driving in two. She is hitting .500 on the season with four RBIs.