By: Dave Souza
Despite the blizzard conditions, the Boston University Softball team will begin it’s season this weekend as they travel to Boca Raton, Florida where they’ll play in the FAU Kick-Off Classic.
Last season, the Terriers opened their season by dropping three of their first four contests in their opening weekend tournament. BU however would rebound to finish the season at 28-24 and win the Patriot League crown in dramatic fashion.
This weekend, the Terriers will attempt to start their season on a high note, first when they take on Florida Atlantic University Friday night at 8:15 p.m. The Owls last season appeared in the regionals of the college softball playoffs, only to be dispatched as the University of Florida captured the Gainesville regional.
The following afternoon, BU will be back in action at 3:45 when they square off with North Florida before rounding out the double-header at 6 p.m. that night against Bethune-Cookman. The scarlet and white will finish out the weekend with a Sunday morning contest against North Carolina State.
Last year, Brittany Younan was the offensive catalyst for the Terriers, crafting a .379 batting average on 72 hits. The senior also led the Terriers in RBIs with 31 and was second on the team in runs with 32. For three straight years, Younan has batted over .340 while her career average sits at an astronomical .369. Last year, the infielder also had a .964 fielding percentage, committing just seven errors in 52 games.
On the mound a season ago, the Terriers relied on their duo of Lauren Hynes and Melanie Russell, who pitched in a combined 66 games and started in 47 total contests. Neither arms return for BU. In their place are senior Makinna Akers and junior Sydni Overly, both of whom appeared in limited roles last season for the Terriers pitching staff.
Akers was primarily used as a reliever last season, appearing in 16 games and posting a 6.98 ERA while going 1-3. Overly appeared in eight contests for the Terriers, starting four. And while her ERA sat at 7.71 at the end of last season, it is largely inflated by a four-run outing she gave up in just a third of an inning against Loyola Marymount. Without that performance, Overly’s ERA would be a respectable 4.87.
The Terriers have also added two freshman arms in Illinois native Lizzie Annerino and Kali Magane, from nearby Wrentham, Mass.
BU also returns some high-powered offensive talent in sophomore Alex Heinen, Moriah Connolly, and Emma Wong.
The tournament kicks off a series of four straight road tourneys for the Terriers, who will play 21 straight contests before playing their home opener on March 22 against Bryant.