By Michael Wax
Boston University softball (40-15, 17-2 PL) will head to its sixth consecutive Patriot League championship game following a 1-0 win over Lehigh (27-17-1, 15-4 PL) on Friday.
“What a performance,” said BU head coach Ashley Waters. “I thought Ally was great today, really great command. I thought she did a good job kind of bearing down and still throwing her pitches and not trying to go over the plate.”
Junior pitcher Allison Boaz put up seven innings for the second straight day, only allowing one hit and walking two while also striking out two.
“I’m feeling good,” Boaz said. “We’ve been playing a lot of games this season and so I’ve always kind of stayed warm but Lehigh’s a good hitting team and I think just staying confident and staying aggressive and getting ahead early in the counts has been really working today and yesterday.”
Boaz also put together an impressive fielding performance, recording five putouts.
“Defense is everything,” Boaz said, “because you know they’re gonna put the ball in play, and so you gotta have that behind you.”
BU scratched across the only run of the game in the third. Junior catcher Audrey Sellers led the inning off with a single, then advanced to third on consecutive groundouts. Patriot League Player of the Year Kayla Roncin then singled to put BU on top.
Graduate center fielder Jen Horita led the BU bats on the day with three infield singles. Aggressive baserunning from Horita got her into multiple close plays at third. While she was able to get around the tag on the first instance, the miscue ultimately led to BU not being after to cash in any runs in the fifth.
“I think her initial read was right, and then the second read she shouldn’t have gone,” Waters said. “I mean you’re seeing the ball in front of you. I do actually think she was safe. I think that ball beat her but the tag didn’t. But regardless, the umpire’s angle obviously had her out. I mean, the ball’s in front of you, we can go first and second and have two runners on and obviously you saw after that there was a missed fly ball. We could have had a couple more runs.”
Going into the championship series, Waters wants BU hitters to think about one thing: “Offense, offense, offense,” Waters said. “There’s got to be confidence in the box.”
Boaz doesn’t know if she’ll take the mound for tomorrow’s championship matchup, but she knows that it’s going to be a team effort to bring home a fourth consecutive Patriot League trophy.
“Our team’s worked so hard, and everyone contributes, and we’re gonna need everyone tomorrow,” Boaz said.
The Terriers will face the winner of game 5 tomorrow at 12 p.m.