The Boston University softball team clinched a season sweep of cross-town rival Boston College at home yesterday in a 1-0 victory that featured the Terriers most valuable asset, starting pitching. The depth of the Terriers’ rotation was on full display when No. 2 starter junior Megan Currier, registered the shutout.
Currier allowed just three baserunners, scattering two hits in the third and fourth innings. No legitimate threat was ever assembled by the Eagles. And though the Terriers struggled to mount any semblance of a rally themselves, the first at bat of the game was all they would need.
In the first BU (35-15) at bat of the game, on a 2-1 pitch from BC (18-21) junior right-hander Taylor Peyton, senior left fielder Shayne Lotito sent a big fly over the left-field wall in one of her final games at the BU Softball Field.
With only two America East games left, each against last-place Binghamton University, the Terriers have locked up at least a second-place finish in the league, and stand a chance at winning the regular-season title with help from Stony Brook University.
Lotito’s production out of the leadoff spot is a big reason why the Terriers are where they are, and her big blow against BC was the icing on a season characterized by milestones. Three weeks ago against Stony Brook, Lotito set the single-season BU records for stolen bases and runs and the career record for runs.
This season, Lotito has hit .362 in 46 games with five homers and 25 RBIs. Her five dingers rank second on the team behind sophomore outfielder April Setterlund. But outside of Lotito’s tone setter, the BU offense appeared anemic. Senior third baseman Brooke Hudson, who batted second, was the only other Terrier to reach base via a hit, going 2-for-2. The bottom seven in the order were virtually non-existent.
However, BU’s lack of offensive production may say more about BC pitcher Taylor Peyton’s pitching style than it does about the Terriers’ makeup in the batter’s box. Peyton was what most people would call ‘effectively wild,’ the impressive nature of her eight strikeouts overshadowed only by her less impressive six walks.
Currier, on the other hand, took a different approach to tame the Eagles, pitching to contact in an effort that included three strikeouts and only a single walk. Although she didn’t call on overpowering stuff, her two hits allowed are evidence that BU’s staff is healthy heading into the postseason tournament.
The fact that Currier is only BU’s No. 2 starter makes the Terriers all the more intimidating. BU ace and defending America East Pitcher of the Week, redshirt junior Cassidi Hardy, leads the rotation into the postseason at 19-5 with a 1.43 ERA and 142 strikeouts.
Currier is 10-8 with a 2.40 ERA and the third starter, sophomore Kelley Engman, is 6-2 with a 3.02 ERA.
This depth appears even more valuable when compared to the rest of the league. The University of Maryland-Baltimore County really only has one true starter, sophomore Stephani Weigman. She is 20-14 and has pitched 223 innings this season. The Retrievers are currently on the outside of the playoff picture looking in, but only by virtue of a tiebreaker. If the Retrievers were to reach the tournament, their chance for success in a high-scoring ball game would be slim with no reliable backup if Weigman was to get in trouble.
The Terriers have two. And even more than the hot-hitting April Setterlund, the speedy Shayne Lotito or the steady Melissa Dubay, the depth of their pitching will have to shine through when times get tough in the tournament. Wednesday’s start by Currier is a sign that they can.