With the season coming down to the wire and the America East standings closer than ever, the Boston University softball team accomplished everything it needed to this weekend, sweeping conference foe the University of Vermont in a three-game set by scores of 2-0, 1-0 and 11-2.
Because of the three-game sweep over Vermont (7-36, 3-15 AE), BU (34-15, 12-5) was able to leapfrog the University at Albany to take second place in the conference standings with only two conference games remaining. The Terriers can thank the University of Maine, who took two out of three from Albany over the weekend.
BU could also show gratitude toward the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, which also won two games in a three-game series against current conference leader Stony Brook University, leaving the Terriers only one game out of that elusive top spot in America East.’ ‘
The Terriers’ potential playoff situation looks even better, given the upcoming weekend schedule for those top three teams. BU takes on last-place Binghamton University, whose lowly resume includes only one conference win and six overall in its 38-game schedule to this point.
Meanwhile, top-ranked Stony Brook and third-ranked Albany will be forced to duke it out against one another. No matter the outcome of that series, it would appear that the Terriers have all but locked up the two spot heading into the conference tournament.
BU got into this situation over the weekend thanks in part to outstanding pitching performances by redshirt junior Cassidi Hardy and junior Megan Currier. The pair combined for three complete games ‘-‘- two of which were shutouts ‘-‘- and only two earned runs over the three games.
Hardy continued the dominance she has demonstrated all season as the ace of the Terriers’ pitching staff. In the weekend opener, Hardy was extremely efficient, allowing only two hits with no walks in her 10th shutout and 21st complete game of the season. Neither of the two Catamount baserunners was able to advance past the first-base bag on the afternoon.
Hardy picked up where she left off yesterday, again going the distance for BU in the 11-2 victory. She allowed only two earned runs on five hits and two walks and tripled her strikeout total from the day before, going from two to six.
The second start was a record-setter for the redshirt junior ‘-‘- it was her 105th appearance in the pitcher’s circle, a new career record at BU.
While Hardy seemed to dominate as if it was business as usual over the weekend, Currier had the Vermont batters seeing double, throwing arguably one of her best pitching performances of the season as her stats in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader appeared eerily similar to those of her partner on the BU staff.
Currier, like Hardy, allowed only two hits on the afternoon. Vermont’s batters were again frustrated by a BU pitcher’s surgical precision when Currier let only one Catamount reach base, via a walk.
The start was only the second shutout of the season for Currier in her 17th start of the season. The win pushed the junior’s overall record over the .500 threshold at 9-8 on the season.
Offensively, the BU bats did just enough in the first two games, combining for only three runs, before exploding for 11 runs on Sunday.
Senior shortstop Melissa Dubay had all the offense the Terriers needed in the second game. After reaching on a base hit to start the inning ‘-‘- one of only three BU hits ‘-‘- Dubay rounded the bases on a sacrifice bunt, fielder’s choice and wild pitch to score the winning run.
Earlier, BU’s lone hits by senior catcher Christy Leath and junior first basemen Rachel Hebert were effective as they drove in the game’s only two runs.
Sunday was a completely different story. Five different Terriers had multiple hits, including 3-for-4 performances by senior left fielder Shayne Lotito and senior designated hitter Nora Militz. Militz had three RBIs to match her three hits, and senior third baseman Brooke Hudson had four RBIs of her own on a sixth-inning grand slam to centerfield.