By: Matthew Doherty
WORCESTER – Since returning to the Northeast nearly a month ago, the Boston University softball team has been on a roll.
Over the weekend, the Terriers continued their recent run of domination with a three-game sweep of in-state rival Holy Cross.
Freshman ace Ali Dubois earned the win in all three contests en route to Turnpike Trophy MVP honors. On offense, the bats continued to hit early and often.
BU is 17-5 since wrapping up its West Coast trip in California on March 10th. The Terriers are now 25-17 overall, first in the Patriot League with a 7-2 conference record, and winners of seven in a row.
“It’s important, I think every game in the Patriot League is important,” coach Ashley Waters said. “I knew this weekend wasn’t going to be easy. But our offense was able to prevail and Ali was excellent in all three games.”
Dubois began the weekend on Friday afternoon with her best performance. The right-hander twirled a complete game shutout, allowing just four hits while striking out eight.
Jilee Schanda went 3 for 3 and scored three runs and Emily Morrow drove in two runs. The Terriers scored once in the second, twice in the fourth, and twice in the seventh to win 5-0.
On Saturday, Dubois was sensational yet again. She hurled five innings and surrendered just one run on one hit while striking out seven. BU scored seven runs in the opening innings to take a commanding 7-0 lead.
Brittany Younan had two hits and scored two runs out of the leadoff spot, Alex Heinen drove in two runs, and for the second game in a row, Morrow posted 2 RBIs. The Terriers went on to win Game 2 of the series by a score of 9-4.
Waters was pleased with the depth of her lineup.
“I mean honestly in order to win this conference that’s what you need,” Waters said. “It can’t always be the same person. So it’s great to see 1-9 with RBIs and timely hits. For the offense I’m glad with all the runs we scored.”
In the final game of the series, the Terriers knocked off Holy Cross, 6-3, to complete the sweep. BU trailed for the first time all weekend when the Crusaders scored two runs off Dubois and led 2-1 after two innings.
But the offense took advantage of Holy Cross errors and delivered timely hits during a four-run 3rd inning that gave BU a 5-2 advantage. It was the top of the order who shined in the decisive frame as Younan, Emma Wong, Heinen, and Schanda all scored runs. Cleanup hitter Madi Killebrew had an RBI.
The run support was all Dubois needed to cap off her terrific weekend. She fired another complete game, allowing three runs (two earned) but striking out a career-best 13.
Dubois finished the weekend with 28 strikeouts in 19 innings. She improved her record to 18-6 and sits third in the Patriot League with a 2.07 ERA.
“For her it’s just a matter of command,” Waters said. “I think when she pounds the zone then we can actually get people to chase some stuff. When we get ahead in the count she’s obviously that much better. And thats kind of where she was at today.”
The Terriers had an 8-game winning streak earlier in the season before it got snapped against Boston College. On Tuesday, they’ll travel to UMass Lowell for a doubleheader and a chance to extend the streak to a season-best.
“I think for us realistically, you try to progress and get hot at the right time and continue to work on things,” Waters said. “Regardless, we’re always the underdog and chasing something.”