Softball, Sports

Unlikely offensive pair leads softball to two wins

After a rough week against a pair of non-conference opponents, the Boston University softball team bounced back this weekend, going 2-1 in a three-game series against the University at Albany.

BU (20-13, 5-1 America East) opened the weekend with a pair of victories on Saturday, winning 4-3 and then 11-0 after only five innings, due to the NCAA mercy rule. They had a little more trouble with Albany (13-14, 5-4) on Sunday, losing a tight 4-3 contest.

Senior pitcher Cassidi Hardy picked up the win in the first game, holding the Great Danes without a hit until the fifth inning of a pitchers’ duel with Albany senior Leah McIntosh. Junior second baseman Erica Casacci hit a two-RBI double in the top of the fifth to break a 0-0 tie, and junior shortstop Emily Roesch added to the lead in the sixth with a two-run homer, her first of the season.

Casacci and Roesch, not normally the Terriers’ top offensive players, led the way throughout Saturday’s games. Casacci went 4-for-7 with two doubles and a walk, while Roesch contributed four RBIs in addition to her game-winning blast.

“Emily’s been hurt, so she’s still trying to get her eye back a little at the plate,” said BU coach Shawn Rychcik. “She was Rookie of the Year last year so I know she can hit, she’s just had a shoulder injury and she’s quite a few games behind everybody. And Erica’s been the one scoring the runs &- she just had people on base in front of her this time. Those were big hits, and we needed them.”

Albany scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth, but was unable to complete the comeback. They couldn’t make it back onto the scoreboard for the rest of the day, managing just one hit against freshman pitcher Whitney Tuthill in the second game.

Tuthill got ample run support, as every batter in the lineup except junior right fielder Christina Valdes scored at least once. Roesch, junior catcher Caitlin Rentler, and freshman outfielder Taylor Cowan all registered RBIs in a five-hit, five-run first inning that knocked Albany senior pitcher Marissa Powell out of the game.

Her replacement, freshman Allie Weiser, didn’t fare much better, allowing three runs in the third and three more in the fifth. Casacci recorded her second RBI double of the weekend in the fifth, and junior outfielder April Setterlund hit her team-leading tenth home run to make the final score 11-0.

Setterlund tied the program single-season RBI record the next day, increasing her total to 44 with a first-inning single that scored senior first baseman Rachel Hebert.

“When you have a year like she’s had, that’s what’s going to happen,” Rychcik said. “She’s been hitting unbelievable, she’s had people in front of her hitting and on base, so she’s had that opportunity. It’s not a huge surprise but it’s a great accomplishment. I know teams are starting to get very careful with her &- she had a few intentional walks today &- so we’re going to be careful about keeping ourselves on base in front of her. She’s had a great year and the record shows it.”

But after a promising first inning, the Terriers couldn’t seem to keep their bats going against Powell, the pitcher they had hit for five runs in an inning less than 24 hours before.

“That’s the way the game is,” Rychcik said. “The same pitcher can come out and do different things on a different day. We hit a lot of balls right at people, and we had people on base all day but we just couldn’t get the big hit.”

Hardy took the loss after giving up three runs in the first four innings, dropping her record to 12-5. Tuthill threw three innings of scoreless relief, but the Terriers’ bats were silent during her time on the mound.

Senior third baseman Rachel Moeller scored on an error after walking in the fourth, but Powell held the best-hitting team in AE off the board for the last four innings to secure the Albany victory.

“We hit the ball pretty well, it was just a matter of cashing people in and we didn’t get that done today,” Rychcik said. “I don’t think we did a whole lot different, the hits just didn’t drop.”

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