The Boston University softball team showed itself to be both dominant and lackluster at times on its weekend road trip to the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, where the Terriers took two out of three games from the Retrievers.
The Terriers (23-15, 7-2) lost 3-1 in their first game on Saturday before beating the Retrievers (21-19, 2-7) by the NCAA mercy rule, 11-3, in five innings in the second game of the doubleheader. On Sunday, senior pitcher Cassidi Hardy, the losing pitcher in the 3-1 contest on Saturday, threw her fourth career no-hitter en route to a 5-0 BU victory.
“It’s disappointing when you lose a close game like that, but it is hard to sweep,” said BU coach Shawn Rychcik. “I’ll take two out of three. That’s always going to get you in the playoffs.”
Despite taking the loss in the first game on Saturday, Hardy pitched well, giving up three runs on only five hits. She also became the second pitcher in BU history to eclipse the 700-career strikeout mark. Her 22 strikeouts over the weekend now give her 715 over her career.
Unfortunately, the Terrier offense was not sharp during the first game, manufacturing one run on five hits. Junior centerfielder April Setterlund was the only Terrier with more than one hit. She also scored the lone run of the game when she doubled in the fourth inning, and freshman outfielder Taylor Cowan knocked her in with an RBI single.
“I thought our offense let us down on Saturday,” Rychcik said. “We had some opportunities and we only had five hits. I thought we could have had some harder hit balls. We made some easy outs for them, and didn’t get on top of the ball.”
The BU offense that played in the second game on Saturday looked like an entirely different group. The Terriers had 11 runs in four innings, and four players put together multi-hit games.
Senior first baseman Rachel Hebert led the rout. She went 2-for-3 on the afternoon with four RBIs and three runs scored, and she hit home runs in back-to-back innings.
“We’re a good-hitting team,” Rychcik said. “I think on that day, the fact that we just got beat and we didn’t hit real well, and the fact that they were throwing probably a little lesser pitcher, didn’t go in their favor by any means. We jumped on her right away.”
On Sunday, it was Hardy’s show, as she became the second pitcher in BU history to throw four no-hitters in her career. Hardy had a perfect game going until the fourth inning, when she hit a batter, and she only allowed one more base runner (via a walk) for the rest of the game. Hardy had nine strikeouts on the day, and she struck out three of the final four batters.
“I thought she pitched better on Sunday but threw harder and got a few more strikeouts on Saturday,” Rychcik said. “She made a mistake on Saturday and it cost her. On Sunday, she just pitched around everybody. I was impressed with both days.”
Setterlund and sophomore infielder Emily Roesch sparked a four-run third inning on Sunday with back-to-back home runs. The shot capped off a strong weekend for Roesch, who went 5-for-10 on the weekend with three RBIs and two home runs. Setterlund was also 5-for-10 on the weekend, but a .500 average through three games actually lowered her batting average, as she touts a .568 average.
“We’re in a good spot,” Rychcik said. “We’ve played the top half of the conference. We’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing, because we’re playing really well right now.”