Softball, Sports

Softball wins series, one win away from hosting Patriot League tournament

Junior infielder Emily Morrow scored BU’s lone run in the second game its series against Bucknell over the weekend. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

The Boston University softball team took two of three games from Bucknell University this weekend, and now only needs to win one game against Colgate University next weekend in order to host the Patriot League tournament and two wins to grab the regular season title outright.

The Terriers (33-18, 12-3 Patriot League) took two from the visiting Bison (26-21-1, 13-5 Patriot League) in both games Saturday, but failed to complete the sweep, falling 2-1 Sunday.

If BU had won Sunday, it would have won the Patriot League with three games to spare, but Terrier head coach Ashley Waters remains confident that her team can get the job done next weekend.

“I’m glad they got two wins on the weekend,” Waters said. “Now we get to go to Colgate and that means something. We have to take one from Colgate, and we’re going to go back to work this week and grind it out.”

Saturday began with an offensive bang, as the Terriers scored eight runs in the first three innings and rode strong pitching the rest of the way en route to an 8-4 victory.

The two times Bucknell scored, once in the first and twice in the second, BU responded with runs to either tie the contest or take the lead.

After the Bison scored one in the first off freshman pitcher Ali DuBois, junior catcher Alex Heinen tripled home a run and scored on a passed ball.

Bucknell got two more in the second, but once again, BU responded.

Senior infielder Kaitlin Sahlinger doubled in the tying run and came around to score the second run in a three-run inning for the Terriers.

BU then held the Bison scoreless thanks to a double play and added on, in the bottom of the third, to a lead the team would not relinquish.

During the inning, the Terriers plated three runs on four hits, capped by senior infielder Brittany Younan triple — her 10th of the season, a Patriot League record for most triples in a single season.

With DuBois only lasting 1.1 innings, Waters emptied her bullpen and sophomore Lizzie Annerino and freshman Cali Dolfi pitched 5.2 innings in relief, only surrendering one run.

Game two was much more of a defensive battle, headlined by two outstanding pitching performances.

DuBois had a much-needed bounceback outing, shutting Bucknell out in a complete game two-hitter.

On the other side, sophomore pitcher Raeanne Geffert also went the distance, but gave up a walk-off home run to junior infielder Emily Morrow to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning for the Terriers to take a 1-0 win.

This was the Lakewood, California native’s third home run of her career, and it gave BU its 15th win in a row — the second-longest streak nationwide and the joint-longest of a Patriot League team since Lehigh University’s in 2015.

“We had a really nice streak,” Waters said. “If we’re going to drop one, I’d rather it now and then get a new streak going.”

Defense was the name of the game once again in Sunday’s game three, but this time the Bison got the big play.

After the Terriers tied the game thanks to a triple from senior outfielder Jilee Schanda, the game would stay tied until additional innings.

Bucknell took the lead in the top of the eighth as the go-ahead run scored on a pitch that squeaked through Heinen’s legs.

“Alex has been great for us behind the plate, and of course one just squeaks by,” Waters said. “It’s a tough way to lose, but I am really proud of they way they came out.”

One win against Colgate (11-28, 6-9 Patriot League) next weekend would give BU a share of the league crown, but anything more would give the Terriers their first outright win since joining the Patriot League in 2014.

“I thought it was a really great weekend, I thought we played great yesterday and today we just had a few too many mistakes,” Waters said. “That’s the way the game works out, you just have to keep going, keep plugging away.”

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