By: Dave Souza
Last season, the Boston University Softball team began their season at 11-15 after stumbling on far-off road trips and being swept in their first three-game series in conference play. In 2017, the Terriers have started out at a troubling 8-18, and have also dropped their first trio of games in Patriot League play – this time against Lehigh.
Over the last four days, BU has played four games, falling in all of them thanks to an inability to limit damage in troublesome innings. After faltering in their west coast swing, the Terriers returned home to Boston, looking to put an end to their shortcomings. They began their weekend by hosting the Bryant Bulldogs, winners of just four games coming into Thursday’s contest.
For a BU team that had struggled to put up runs in their previous two games, Thursday’s first inning was a sign of encouragement, as the Terriers struck for two runs. And while freshman Kali Magane rolled through four innings scoreless, she ran into trouble in the fifth when freshman Bianca Mastropietro got the Bulldogs on the board with a homerun.
That blast began an inning the Terriers wouldn’t recover from. A few batters later, back-to-back doubles brought in three more runs to put BU behind by two. That inning would stand as the difference maker as the Terriers fell to Bryant, 4-2.
The following day, the scarlet and white traveled to Bethlehem, Penn., where they did battle with the Mountain Hawks of Lehigh in a three-game series. Once again, the Terriers offense was snake bitten while Lehigh tagged their pitching for a combined 30 runs in three more defeats.
The first contest lasted just five innings as the Terriers fell, 11-3. The big inning for the Mountain Hawks came in the bottom of the second when they struck for seven runs off of a pair of BU pitchers.
The inning was punctuated by back-to-back leadoff homeruns by junior Carolyn Wright and freshman Reva Alderman. Two of the next three batters reached base before Ashley Cole ripped a two-run double to left center, pushing the Lehigh lead to 5-3. A sac fly two batters later increased the lead to three before a double by Wright brought in another pair of runs to round out the inning.
The Mountain Hawks added three more runs in the bottom of the fifth on a pair of RBI singles and a wild pitch to finish off the Terriers in game one.
The second half of Saturday’s doubleheader was also unkind to the Terriers, who again lost in a five-inning contest, this time 9-1. The Mountain Hawks were again led by the long ball as senior Vicky Lattanzio stroked two homeruns, and drove in a total of five runs. Her second blast was a three-run homer that came in the bottom of the fifth, putting the game on ice. Cole also blasted a solo shot to left-center to open a four-run first inning for the Mountain Hawks.
In the first two games, the Terriers combined for four runs on nine hits, but were outscored by 16.
The third game was a different story for BU, who jumped out to a 6-3 lead thanks to a five-run fifth. However, the Terriers undoing came in the bottom of the inning when Lehigh struck for seven runs to down BU, 10-6.
With the score locked at three headed into the decisive inning, the Terriers jumped ahead after putting runners on first and second with no outs. Both runners attempted a double steal, before Moriah Connolly came home on a throwing error by the catcher, Wright. A single and a sacrifice later, Jilee Schanda came around to push the lead to two, before Madi Killebrew’s RBI single made it a three-run lead.
In the bottom of the inning, the Mountain Hawks put eight of batters on base, punctuated by a three-run double by freshman Mary Hannah Smith followed up by a two-run homer by Lattanzio. The seven-run inning buried the Terriers, who dropped their sixth straight game and their 14th of their last 17th.
Next, BU will look to stem its losing streak against the University of Massachusetts on Thursday in a double header.