Softball, Sports

Softball makes do short-handed in Clearwater

The Boston University softball team closed out the tournament portion of its schedule with three wins and a loss in Clearwater, Fla. this weekend.

In the University of South Florida Under Armour Showcase, the Terriers (7-9) defeated Temple University, 4-1, and lost 4-1 to St. Joseph’s University on Saturday, then beat the University of Toledo, 13-7, on Sunday. After finishing tournament play against Toledo, they took on Indiana University and won 6-2.

Senior pitcher Cassidi Hardy struck out a season-high 11 batters and allowed just one unearned run on three hits against Temple (5-10).

Sophomore second baseman Erica Casacci scored early for BU after reaching base on a walk, and Temple sophomore Michelle Lerner made it home on a passed ball in the fifth inning. The score remained 1-1 until the top of the seventh, when BU scored three runs to secure the win.

Later that day, BU had trouble with St. Joseph’s (8-6). The Hawks came alive for three runs in the third inning, and though Casacci scored in the bottom of the third, BU could not manage any further offense in the game. Senior pitcher Megan Currier split time in the circle with junior Kelley Engman and freshman pitcher/first baseman Taylor Cowan.
Offense was not a problem for the Terriers against Toledo (3-15).

Cowan, one of BU’s most notable rookies so far, drove in three runs on two hits against the Rockets. Sophomore outfielder Kayla Kruper and junior outfielder Christina Valdes each had two hits and two RBIs.

“She’s had to hit a little more than we were expecting,” said BU coach Shawn Rychcik of Cowan. “You never know what you’re going to get from a freshman, but she’s been contributing well so far.”

After a scoreless first inning, the Terriers broke through with six runs on six hits in the second. Every player in the lineup except junior center fielder April Setterlund registered at least one hit as BU steadily built a 13-3 lead by the final inning. Toledo rallied for four runs in the bottom of the seventh, but was not able to come back against the consistent pitching of freshman Whitney Tuthill.

Setterlund made up for going hitless in the Toledo game by swatting her fifth home run of the season against Indiana (6-15). The fourth-inning shot drove in Casacci and gave BU its first lead of the game. Engman, senior infielder Rachel Hebert and Valdes scored in the top of the fifth to put the game out of the Hoosiers’ reach.

The previous weekend had been a more frustrating one for the Terriers, s they went 2-3 in the USF Under Armour Invitational, then dropped a pair of games to Radford University and Ball State University.

“We have four starters out [injured] in the infield, so we’re still trying to find ourselves a little,” Rychcik said. “We had some people move around and [freshman catcher/outfielder] Jayme Mask was hurt last weekend, and I don’t know what her status will be. We’ve been trying to piece everything back together. We’re just trying to get our feet under us, especially since some of the teams we’ve played have played a few more games.”

The Terriers will next face Hofstra University and the University of Connecticut in a doubleheader on March 20 in Hempstead, N.Y.

“We’ve got a tough weekend coming up,” Rychcik said. “Hofstra just played [University of] Louisville and Michigan [University], who are both ranked teams, and UConn is always tough, so it’ll help to prepare us for the conference. But I think we played pretty well this past Sunday &- probably our best day yet. “

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