By: Greg Levinsky
As the Boston University Terriers raised the Patriot League softball championship trophy, a ball sat atop the left field batting cage.
Smoked for a 3-run home run off the bat of Lehigh’s Jaelynn Chesson, the furthest hit of the day never came down, suspended in air, suggesting it wasn’t the end.
Trailing 7-6 with two outs in the bottom of the sixth, BU catcher and two-time league MVP Alex Heinen, was intentionally walked.
Lehigh chose to bring up BU’s cleanup hitter, and with just four outs remaining, senior Madi Killebrew delivered a season altering blast.
The shortstop blasted a 3-run shot of her own, sparking an eight-run rally to smash the Mountain Hawks (27-27, 11-7 Patriot League). A commanding 14-7 victory brings BU to its third NCAA regional appearance in four seasons.
“Big players step up in big moments” said BU head coach Ashley Waters. “That’s what it’s all about. If you’re going to walk our three hitter whose been on fire all day and you’re going to go to the four hitter, then you know what?
“Good for her for putting an exclamation point on it.”
Killebrew set a record with 10 RBIs in last year’s Patriot League Tournament. This year she produced in the clutch again. Killebrew went 2-for-4 with 4 RBIs. Five Terriers produced multi-hit efforts in the conference championship clincher.
Whether the intentional walk to get to her served as motivation or not, Killebrew unleashed what is most likely the biggest hit of the season.
“I just had a gut feeling, I turned back to Madi and said, ‘this is you,’” said Heinen, the Tournament MVP, who clobbered a 3-run shot earlier in the game. “I got on first base and I just knew it. She was going to get the job done.”
And remember, had Heinen not been walked, a home run would’ve tied the game. I certainly wouldn’t want to pitch to either of them. The potent BU roster features a full lineup of All-Conference talents.
Once Killebrew homered and the lead was taken, it ballooned to the final 14-7 margin.
The Terriers (36-18, 15-2) find out their destination for the NCAA Regional Tournament Sunday night.
Greg Levinsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GregLevinsky