Just three tournaments into its season, the Boston University softball team has already lost four infielders to injury. The Terriers entered the season with two injured infielders, and then lost the other two players the week before and during spring break.
“It makes it really hard to get some consistency,” said BU coach Shawn Rychcik. “We’ve lost our back-ups; we have people switched all over positions. I give the kids a lot of credit. They’re really battling, trying to get things out and I think we’re getting better as we go.”
Rychcik would not name any of the injured players or go into detail about the injuries. One player may be ready to come back by the end of the month, Rychcik said.
Covering the Bases
The infield injuries have left the Terriers in a pinch. BU is effectively playing with a 12-man roster, and five of those players are pitchers. The Terriers have been forced to move players all over the field into positions they have not played in years.
“Teams are only so deep, so we literally have people playing all over the place,” Rychcik said. “Some of these kids have not played in these positions in five, six, seven, 10 years. So they’re becoming familiar again at that position, and that’s awful hard at the college level.”
BU is not cutting themselves any slack at its new positions, however. Despite some unfamiliarity, the Terriers played strong this past weekend. They went 3-1 and only had eight errors on the weekend compared to their opponents’ 12.
“They played with a lot of heart and a lot of fight,” Rychcik said. “We’re proud of the kids and the way they’re battling through some tough times. It would have been really easy to just sit down and pack this one in, but the team stepped up a little bit on the weekend.”
The hot starts for the Terrier freshmen have continued in the aftermath of freshman Whitney Tuthill’s no-hitter two weeks ago. Tuthill continued her strong start to the season with a 13-7 win against Toledo. Tuthill allowed seven runs, but only one run was earned. Freshman infielder Taylor Cowan scored three runs and had three RBIs in the Terriers’ victory against Toledo.
“We expect our freshman to come in here and play and contribute now,” Rychcik said. “Most of the kids we recruit are pretty skilled athletes, and given the opportunity, they can have success. It helps us out and takes some pressure off of the upperclassmen having to do a little bit more.”
No Rest for the Weary
The Terriers will not have time to heal, as they will face Hofstra University (10-2) and the University of Connecticut (6-9) this weekend at the Hofstra Invitational in Hempstead, N.Y. Although UConn has a losing record, the Huskies are coming off of a strong showing in the Stetson University Tournament in which they went 4-0.
“I know Hofstra and UConn are good teams, and Hofstra has been playing really well,” Rychcik said. “They just had a really strong tournament with Michigan [State University] and [the University of] Louisville. They’ve played well against some good competition, so I know we’ll have our hands full there.”