With one win and one loss each day of the weekend, the Boston University softball team kicked off its 2011 season at the Louisville Black and Red Tournament in Louisville, Ky. The Terriers (2-2) came away with a few positives, but also an understanding that there are some aspects of their game that need work.
In its first game on Friday, BU took on Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville for the team’s first win and first shutout of the season, winning 4-0. Freshman pitcher Holli Floetker made her college debut for the Terriers, giving up only three hits and two walks as well as striking out five.
Redshirt freshman outfielder Jayme Mask, who only played 10 games for the Terriers last year because of a season-ending injury early on, started off the game with a single up the middle for her first of five hits on the day. Senior centerfielder April Setterlund would drive her in two at-bats later with a double, her only hit of the day, to give the Terriers all the run support they would need.
The score remained 1-0 until the fourth inning when freshman catcher Amy Ekart hit a sacrifice fly to bring in another run. The Terriers extended their lead in the fifth when junior second baseman Melanie Delgado, who is back after being sidelined by an injury for two years, scored on a SIUE error, and Mask took home on a double steal.
“It’s nice to see [Mask] back up there,” said BU coach Shawn Rychcik. “In the few games she played last year, she was really good. She’s going to be a good spark in our offense. It’s just a good start and a real good sign that we’ve got a leadoff hitter who can get on like that with a good on-base percentage. We’re happy with that.”
Later in the day, sophomore pitcher Whitney Tuthill took the mound for BU against the University of Louisville. Tuthill was touched up by the Cardinals, giving up four runs, three earned, in five innings.
“I thought Whitney did a pretty good job,” Rychcik said. “She’s just trying to get comfortable on the mound. She’s hasn’t been on the dirt pitching since May and she had offseason surgery. She had some good innings and she was in command of the hitters, so good things came from it.”
Despite two more hits from Mask, the Terriers were shut out by Louisville 5-0.
“When you play a team like Louisville, that’s a tough opening day for you,” Rychcik said. “You have to be so perfect on the first day. They’ve already got 12 games under their belt and they [will be] top 25 finishers.”
On Saturday, BU once again took its early opponent and lost to the second. The Terriers crushed Wright State University, 9-1, with an offensive barrage that saw three players with two runs batted in each.
Freshmen shortstop Brittany Clendenny, senior outfielder April Setterlund and Ekart each drove in two runs and were a cumulative 5-for-10 during the game. The scoring once again started early for BU, who scored one run in the first and then two runs in third, fifth, sixth and seventh innings.
In her first full game, transfer student sophomore Erin Schuppert threw a complete game. The only run of the game was scored on an error by Clendenny.
“Erin found a way to get out of some tough jams,” Rychcik said. “As far as the complete game, I’m not big on those stats. I’m looking at how she threw the ball well and got some hitters out and got us out of innings when we really needed to get out of a jam.”
The Terriers fell behind 5-0 in their matchup against Miami University of Ohio later in the afternoon. Senior pitcher Kelley Engman took the loss on the mound for BU. Engman gave up all five runs and 10 hits in three and two-thirds innings in the eventual 5-3 loss.
BU attempted to chip away at the score but ultimately fell short. In the fifth inning, Delgado hit a homerun to left center field, scoring Ekart and cutting Miami’s lead to three. BU scored another run in the sixth on a single with runners on first and second.
Clendenny started off the sixth with a double, but three straight outs ended the game.
The biggest aspect of the game that Rychcik is looking for his team to work on is defense. BU had six errors in just four games.
“A couple of the errors were hesitations and a couple were when we just didn’t stay down on the ball,” Rychcik said. “It’s definitely something we’re going to address this week. It’s a part of our game that we’ve got to get better. We can’t come out of a weekend with six errors. We’ve got to make plays and eliminate those errors and those extra outs that our pitchers then have to get.”