Softball, Sports

Softball impressive in three fall preseason games

The Boston University softball team showed their potential for another great season last weekend as they won their first three exhibition games of the fall.

The reigning America East champions dominated Boston College on Friday by a score of 8-0 before defeating Providence College 5-3 and Bryant University 8-1 in a doubleheader on Sunday. The run differential over these three games has BU coach Shawn Rychcik excited about the Terriers' offensive production this year.

"We're going to score runs this year because we have a really strong offensive team and don't take a lot of walks," said Rychcik.

A good portion of that offense was produced by junior second baseman Erica Casacci, who ended the weekend with eight hits. All-American senior outfielder April Setterlund also contributed to the success on offense and will look to be the catalyst of the run production this season. Rychcik will look to "rely on the upperclassmen for leadership and stability" this season.

The offense for the Terriers has not come from one specific spot in the lineup, though. While Casacci and Setterlund are top performers for this squad, the depth of the lineup is sure to be critical in their run production this year.

"When you score 21 runs in three games, you are getting the most out of your lineup," said Rychcik.

The pitching performances were also outstanding as the Terriers only allowed four runs in three games. The team is using a mix of four pitchers: senior Kelley Engman, sophomores Erin Schuppert and Whitney Tuthill and freshman Holli Floetker. Over the course of the past three exhibition games, they have been getting the job done for the Terriers. Rychcik said Schuppert, a transfer student from the University of Florida, had a great outing in her first game with her new team.

These three games were the first action for the team's freshmen at the collegiate level, as they have only been with the team for three weeks. However, the freshmen showed they are ready to perform in the lineup over these three games.

"I'm really, really pleased with the level our freshmen are at right now," said Rychcik. "They've done a real good job of adjusting and finding roles right away."

While these games are only exhibitions and will not count toward the team's record in the spring, they are critical for the development of team chemistry, as well as workouts to keep players in shape for the regular season. So far the team has defeated BC, who finished last in the ACC last year with a 16-33 record, Bryant, who finished last in the Northeast Conference last year with an 8-37 record, and Providence, who finished eighth in the Big East last year with a 22-28 record. The Terriers defeated neighbor and bitter rival BC twice last year, and Bryant once, but both games scheduled against Providence were cancelled.

The team is looking to use these games to reestablish roles and chemistry for the upcoming season.

"This is a chance to reevaluate the team as it is put together," said Rychcik, "We have kids competing for positions, and we have a chance to evaluate them."

The Terriers continue their exhibition schedule against BC again on Friday and will look to keep up their impressive start.

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