Softball: Terriers capture conference title, but drop series to Lehigh

Junior third baseman Caitlin Coker in an April 20, 2022 game against Boston College. Boston University secured its fourth consecutive Patriot League title with a win against Lehigh University on Saturday, though the Terriers dropped the second two games of the series. PATRICK DONNELLY/ WTBU SPORTS

By Hannah Yoshinaga 

In an up-and-down weekend, BU softball captured its fourth-straight Patriot League title but also saw its 27-game win streak come to an end against Lehigh.

The Terriers (38-15, 16-2 PL) lost two of three against the Mountain Hawks (26-17-1, 15-3 PL), their first losses to a conference opponent and first since March 12 against Nebraska. However, a game 1 win secured BU the conference’s top seed and home-field advantage for the Patriot League tournament.

Junior pitcher Allison Boaz threw a complete game in game 1, recording seven strikeouts and stymying the Lehigh offense for her seventh shutout victory of the season. Junior pitcher Lizzy Avery took the mound in games 2 and 3 but received little run support and allowed three and five runs, respectively. Avery picked up the loss in both contests.

Game 1: BU defeats Lehigh 4-0

Neither the Terriers nor Mountain Hawks managed to get a runner past second base in the first two innings. Each team got a runner in scoring position with one out, but left them on base after the next two batters went two up, two down to close the inning.

BU finally got on the board in the third after sophomore right fielder Lauren Keleher took first on a hit by pitch. Graduate left fielder Marina Sylvestri doubled to left field to score Keleher two batters later, and a subsequent home run by senior first baseman Nicole Amodio brought her and Sylvestri around the bases.

The Terriers struck again in the sixth when sophomore designated player Lauren Nett doubled to open the inning and a sacrifice bunt by junior catcher Audrey Sellers allowed Nett to reach third. A sacrifice fly by junior third baseman Caitlin Coker scored Nett to give BU a four-run advantage.

The Mountain Hawks never reached third base in the contest, stranding nine runners on base.

Game 2: Lehigh defeats BU 3-0

Offensive struggles plagued BU instead in game 2. The Terriers failed to record any runs on six hits — including three that went for extra bases.

Lehigh got all the offense it needed in the second inning. Third baseman Karsen O’Rourke and catcher Amanda Greaney both singled to put two runners on for first baseman Rory Dudley, who homered to center field.

The Terriers had a player on third in three of the next six innings but were shut down by Lehigh starter Gabriella Nori.

Game 3: Lehigh defeats BU 5-2

An early lead and a late comeback attempt were not enough for the Terriers to take home a victory in their Senior Day matchup.

Sophomore shortstop Kayla Roncin got the scoring started in the first when she singled to score Keleher.

Avery held that lead until the fifth, when Lehigh right fielder Jaelynn Chesson singled to bring home second baseman Josie Charles and shortstop Carley Barjaktarovich. 

Chesson caused more trouble for the Terriers in the seventh, knocking a two-run homer to left that put BU in a four-run hole heading into the bottom of the inning.

Sellers flied out for the first out, but Keleher doubled in the next at-bat. A groundout got Keleher to third with two outs. Roncin doubled to score Keleher, but Gant lined out to end the inning.

BU begins the Patriot League tournament with an opening-round matchup against Colgate at home. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m.