Softball, Sports

Softball’s offense showing signs of improved play in recent games

Though it struggled to put up runs early in the season, the Boston University softball team has gotten a much-needed offensive boost in recent games.

Earlier in the year, the Terriers (11-19-1, 2-4 America East) struggled as a team to hit, and only batted a collective .242 going into a March 28 doubleheader against Providence College. However, the squad has been turning it around as of late.

After getting shut out in a mercy-rule defeat at the hands of Binghamton University March 31, the Terriers appear to have made a breakthrough, and have been getting more consistent efforts from their hitters at the dish.

In a loss to the University of Connecticut Wednesday, the Terriers had little trouble producing on offense, as they banged out eight runs on 13 hits. Despite losing 11-8, BU coach Kathryn Gleason noted after the game that it was a good sign for the offense, and would lead to success against Boston College.

“I told them after the game, it’s tough to have 13 hits and eight runs and lose the game,” Gleason said following the loss. “But … I think that that’s a great boost for us going into BC tomorrow.”

Her words seemed prophetic, as the team seemingly used its performance Wednesday to propel it to victory against Green-Line rival BC (9-21).

Thursday, the Terriers produced eight hits in a 3-1 victory. Although the Terriers scored the eight runs and recorded 13 hits against UConn (11-10), they left a significant number of runners on base, totaling 11 by the game’s end.

Thursday saw a different Terrier team, as they only scored three runs, but made the most of the opportunities they had. In the loss against UConn, sophomore center fielder Mandy Fernandez missed out on a golden chance in the bottom of the sixth when she struck out swinging with the bases loaded and her team only down by one run.

However, against the Eagles, the struggling Fernandez stepped to the plate with freshman first basemen Lauren Hynes on, and hit a two-run homer, giving the Terriers the lead.

“It was a huge lift to us,” Gleason said. “Mandy has been struggling at the plate a little bit and for her to attack the first pitch was just a big lift for us.”

The home run was enough for the Terriers, and the team came out with a 3-1 over BC.

After BU split its first two games at home on the year, it ventured to Connecticut to take on America East foe, the University of Hartford. The offensive did not skip a beat as the Terriers pounded out eleven hits in a 4-1 win over the Hawks (12-21, 4-5 America East).

In the win in the opening game of the series, BU had four of its players record multiple hits. Fernandez, Hynes, junior third baseman Megan Volpano and junior center fielder Jayme Mask all recorded two hits in the win.

“Jayme continues to be our spark plug and Megan has settled in at our three spot,” Gleason said. “We continue to tweak our lineup and try and get everyone settled in spots. We have so many options despite our limited roster, which is exciting for me.”

Despite losing the second game of the series, the Terriers did have some offensive success, piling up seven hits and plating four runners in the one-run loss to the Hawks. Junior shortstop Brittany Clendenny hit a three-run homer, which was the highlight of the game for BU.

In the rubber match, BU fell again to Hartford, but did have a bit of success on the offensive side. The team only recorded six hits, but made the most of its opportunities, scoring three times and leaving only three runners on base. In a three-run fifth inning, Hynes ripped a bases-clearing triple, bringing home two runs for the Terriers.

Since that series against Providence (12-18-1), the Terriers have vastly improved their offense, and have raised their team batting average 12 points to .254.

“The thing I like is that we have different people contributing at different times,” Gleason said. “We’ve seen our batting averages rise, we felt good about that going into this weekend. Now we just have to work on getting our girls across the plate.”


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