By Michael Wax
Boston University softball (39-15,16-2 PL) found a way to capture a game 1 win in the Patriot League tournament on Thursday, scoring two in the ninth to walk off against Colgate (19-27, 9-9 PL) by a score of 3-2.
“We always tell our team, if there’s an inning left, out left, or a strike left, we have a chance,” said BU head coach Ashley Waters.
Waters was one of four Terriers honored in a pregame ceremony, as she was given the Patriot League Coach of the Year award. She was joined by Patriot League Pitcher of the Year Allison Boaz, Patriot League Player of the Year Kayla Roncin, and Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year Nicole Amodio. These awards were a culmination of the culture that the team has put together over the past few seasons.
“Our pitcher of the year got the win, and our player of the year hit the game-tying hit,” Waters said. “We bring in players that want to compete and want to play for a championship. This culture has been driven down from our upperclassmen, and they do a really great job of believing and wanting to win.”
Boaz worked all seven innings for the Terriers in game 1, giving up three runs — two earned — and striking out six.
The Terriers got the bases loaded in each of the first two innings, but only pushed across one run between the two opportunities. Three consecutive singles in the second inning, the last one by junior third baseman Caitlin Coker, gave BU the first run of the tournament.
Boaz continued working in and out of trouble until the fourth inning, where a walk and an error from Roncin gave Colgate a big opportunity. The Raiders seized the opportunity to tie the game with first baseman Kara Fusco singling home the tying run for her second hit of the day.
The Terriers had a difficult time getting runners on base between the third inning and sixth innings, thanks to the performance of Colgate starting pitcher Bailey Misken.
“She really controlled the zone today,” Waters said. “Her changeup was a little bit better than the last time we saw her. She’s a good pitcher, and she definitely isn’t afraid to go at people.”
Colgate grabbed the lead in the sixth inning, hitting a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded to drive in the go-ahead run.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Terriers went to work to try and tie the game. Down to the Terriers’ final two outs, Coker walked and sophomore right fielder Lauren Keleher moved her up to second with a base hit to left. With pinch runner Tyesha Williams on first for Keleher, Roncin grounded a hard-hit ball to short, which was booted by Colgate shortstop Rachel Carney, allowing Coker to score the tying run.
Senior left fielder Emily Gant then grounded a ball past the glove of Patriot League Rookie of the Year Jillian Herbst, scoring Williams and giving BU a last-minute win.
“That last inning came down to heart and desire to win,” Waters said. “They figured it out, they found a way, and I was really impressed with the last inning.”
However, Waters knows there’s another level the Terriers need to reach if they expect to contend for the Patriot League title on Saturday.
“We need to be sharper,” Waters said. “We need to do a better job of giving more people opportunities. If the top of our order has four or five at-bats a game, we know we’re doing something right.”
BU faces Lehigh — which beat Army 3-2 on Thursday afternoon — in the tournament semifinals on Friday. The Terriers have a 1-2 record against the Mountain Hawks this season after dropping their final two games of the regular season to Lehigh last week.
First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m.