Softball, Sports

Lotito sets steals record; BU splits

Almost three weeks into the usually tepid spring season, yesterday was a day of both hot and cold for the Boston University softball team as the squad split a road doubleheader with conference foe the University of Maine. The Terriers were able to win the first contest of the afternoon, 7-4, before dropping the second, 6-0.

On an individual level, two senior Terriers moved up in the BU history books with their performances.

Senior outfielder Shayne Lotito stole two bases on the afternoon, and those two thefts, giving her 24 on the year and 82 for her career, tied her for first in program history for stolen bases in a single season and a career. Lotito, batting out of the top of the lineup for the Terriers for most of this season, has still not been caught stealing in 2009, and ranks 11th in the nation in steals.

Two spots down in the lineup, fellow senior Melissa Dubay connected on a two-run home run to right field in the first inning of Game One. The two RBIs, Dubay’s only two on the afternoon, pushed the senior to within 10 of the career RBI record set by her former teammate Chiya Louie, who graduated in 2007.

‘[Lotito and Dubay] have had some really great careers,’ BU coach Shawn Rychcik said. ‘There have been a lot of great players who have played at BU, and to see them climb the ranks is really a testament to how well they’ve done these last four years.’

While her teammates were busy setting or closing in on BU records, freshman second basemen Emily Roesch continued the solid start to her career. In Game One, Roesch went a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate, bringing her season average up to .301 in her first year of competition. Three was Roesch’s lucky number ‘-‘- she was able to drive in three runs for the Terriers, two of which came on a third-inning home run to center field.

‘She’s having a really good freshman campaign,’ Rychcik said. ‘That’s why she’s moving up in the lineup from [seventh earlier in the year to fifth now]. Her three hits were really big for us today.’

On the mound, redshirt junior Cassidi Hardy went the distance for BU for her 14th complete game in 15 starts as the ace of the Terriers’ staff. Hardy improved to 12-4 on the season after giving up four runs, three of them earned, on six hits. Command on the hill was a non-issue ‘-‘- she allowed only one walk while striking out five.

As well as the Terriers played in the 2 p.m. contest, they played in a complete opposite manner two hours later, falling 6-0 to the Black Bears.

Junior pitcher Megan Currier struggled right from the get-go. In the bottom of the first, Currier allowed two singles and one walk to load the bases for Maine senior Courtney Gingrich. Gingrich proceeded to blast a Currier fastball over the left-field wall to give the Black Bears their first lead of the day, one that would stay for the game’s remainder.

‘[The grand slam] put us down, 4-0,’ Rychcik said. ‘I didn’t doubt that we could come back from a deficit like that, but if anything, it gave [Maine senior pitcher Jenna Balent] a little more confidence. She really had a good changeup today and discouraged us from getting anything done offensively.’

Indeed, before the grand slam, Balent was forced to work out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the first. She settled down greatly after receiving the four-run lead, however, allowing only two more hits over the next six innings for her second-straight complete-game shutout. The Terriers stranded eight baserunners en route to laying the goose egg, three of which came in that first inning.

The Black Bears added two more insurance runs in the sixth to secure the victory.

The Terriers will look to pick up their game offensively today at BU Softball Field in a home tilt against cross-river rival Harvard University.

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