Softball: BU Honors Seniors, Sets Program Record
By Michael Wax
Boston University softball (46-7, 15-0 PL) put together another weekend sweep, defeating Army (17-34, 7-8 PL) by a combined score of 21-6.
With this sweep, BU continues the longest winning streak in BU softball history (26 games) and set the new program record for wins in a single season (44) after game one’s victory.
“They know, but it’s not something that matters to us,” BU Head Coach Ashley Waters said. “We’re just trying to win softball games and it doesn’t make a difference how many we win in a row; we just want to win the last one.”
All three pitchers saw time in the series for BU. Allison Boaz put up 12 innings over two outings, giving up two runs and striking out 11. Freshman pitcher Kasey Ricard started game two for the Terriers, putting up five innings of three-run ball. Senior pitcher Lizzy Avery gave up a run over three innings across two outings.
GAME 1: BU DEFEATS ARMY 9-1
Game 1 saw a matchup between Boaz and senior pitcher Alicyn Grete.
After a quiet first two innings for both teams, BU got on the board in the third after back-to-back doubles off the bat of juniors Lauren Keleher and Kayla Roncin. BU would double their lead in the fourth, with senior first baseman Nicole Amodio scoring junior right fielder Lauren Nett on a double of her own. Amodio attempted to advance to third and was called out on a bang-bang play despite no umpire actually being at third base. After deliberation, Amodio was still called out.
“The umpire at home plate, he needed to transition and come down here and make that call,” Waters said. “He was not in position. It goes back to their own judgment of what they think it would be. It’s pretty bad umpiring, to be out of position like that, and then to make the call from 60 feet away.”
Army got their only run of the game on a homer to left off the bat of freshman first baseman Ashton White. Junior left fielder Kate Pryor had a chance to make the home run robbery, but just missed the ball and crashed hard into the fence. She would stay in the game.
“I was a little rattled,” Pryor said, laughing. “For sure a little rattled, didn’t hit my head and just got the wind knocked on me a little bit.”
Even with the result not being there on that play, Pryor’s effort didn’t go unnoticed.
“I told everyone at the end of the game, that is how I expect people to play,” Waters said. “Kate’s a kid that you’re giving an opportunity to, she doesn’t want to give it back. So I appreciated her effort.”
With Army getting their run in the top half of the inning, BU responded in a big way in the bottom half of the inning. Senior third baseman Caitlin Coker padded the lead with a two-run double on the first pitch she saw, necessitating a pitching change for Army. With freshman pitcher Amanda Eaglin on the mound, freshman second baseman Brooke Deppiesse singled home two more runs a few batters later to build the lead to 6-1. A few batters later, and with Nett on second, Pryor doubled to right center to make it 7-1.
“I think coach just preaches ‘be tough, be gritty’,” Pryor said. I knew I had to do something for the team there. It’s a close game. I really just wanted to lock in for those few pitches, saw a good pitch and thankfully it landed.”
After a quiet top of the sixth, BU would load the bases with one out, and get back-to-back walks from Deppiesse and Nett to make it 9-1 and end the game on a mercy rule.
GAME 2: BU DEFEATS ARMY 5-4
BU struck early in Game 2, with Keleher scoring on a triple off the bat of Coker. Coker would then score on a single from senior Emily Gant to double BU’s lead.
The Terriers wouldn’t let up on the gas pedal in the second inning, loading the bases with nobody out. Keleher then sent a grounder to first, where first baseman Ashton White stepped on the base to eliminate the force out and threw home. Pryor slid under the tag and got BU a 4-0 lead. Four runs in less than two innings led to a pitching change for Army, as sophomore Olivia Farris took over for the Knights. After hitting Coker to load up the bases with one out, Farris got out of the inning unscathed.
BU would get one more run in the third inning to push the lead to 5-0. After the Terriers had the bases loaded again with one out, Deppiesse scored on a fielder’s choice.
Army would come roaring back in the later innings to make it a game. After a one-out double in the fourth from freshman designated player Taylor Brown, White made up for her mental error in the second inning with an RBI single to center. Despite the run scoring, senior catcher Audrey Sellers ended the inning by throwing out White at second base on the relay.
In the fifth, Army pulled even closer with a two-run homer off the bat of senior left fielder Kaci Donaldson that went into the trees.
“I’m fine giving up solo shots,” Waters said. “I just don’t like it when there are multiple people on base because of our own decisions and our own control.”
After Ricard found her way out of the fifth, Avery took over in relief. Avery put together a quiet sixth, but the Knights responded with another homer in the seventh, this one off the bat of senior catcher Maddie Wilkes. Avery was able to retire the next two to close the game out and earn her first save of the year.
GAME 3: BU DEFEATS ARMY 7-1
Before the game, BU honored their senior class in what would be their final regular-season home game. Seniors Nicole Amodio, Emily Gant, Audrey Sellers, Lizzy Avery, Allison Boaz, and Caitlin Coker were all honored before the game.
“It meant a lot,” Avery said. “It’s been four tough years and we’ve been grinding and it’s just nice to have something to celebrate and have a combination of everything that I’ve been doing here.”
BU got started early yet again, getting runners at the corner with one out for Gant. Gant’s pop-up to second drifted just far enough for Keleher to tag up and score the game’s opening run.
After a scoreless second for both sides, the Terriers busted the game open in the third. In the span of eight batters, seven batters singled to bring home five runs.
“When you score in bunches, that’s really tough to defend and it’s really tough to come back from,” Waters said. “Obviously, anytime you’re putting up a five-spot, that puts you in a good position during the game.”
BU’s home crowd was fired up during this big inning as well.
“I think we love playing here,” Avery said. “Obviously we came to Boston for a reason. And now our home crowd is really rowdy and with us.”
After a scoreless fourth, Army and BU traded runs in the fifth. Donaldson hit her second home run in two days to make it 6-1, and Sellers singled home Deppiesse to bring it back to a six-run game.
Avery came on in relief for the second time in the series in the seventh, gathering a 1-2-3 inning to push BU’s win streak to 26.
The Terriers will begin a three-game series against Lehigh on the road next week, with the Patriot League regular season title on the line. The first game is scheduled for Saturday, May 7, and first pitch will be at 12 pm.