Softball: BU Drops Non-Conference Game Against Dartmouth

By William Hanley

BOSTON – The 21/23rd ranked Boston University softball team (27-4) fell to Dartmouth College (7-10) in a losing 5-4 effort in New Hampshire Tuesday afternoon.

The non-conference matchup was scheduled to compensate for a tilt with UMass Lowell that was postponed to April 9. BU traveled to Hanover on an eight-game win streak, with the team’s most recent victories coming from a doubleheader sweep against UConn.

The Terriers opened the contest hot at the plate with back-to-back singles from graduate outfielder Lauren Keleher and senior infielder Kayla Roncin. A throwing error on a rundown attempt sent home Keleher – current Patriot batting average and OPS leader – to put BU on top by one early.

However, the Big Green responded in kind during the bottom of the first. After sitting down the first two batters in Dartmouth’s order, BU graduate starting pitcher Allison Boaz let up two walks and a single to load the bases. Boaz did not finish the inning.

Dartmouth sophomore outfielder Olivia Schramm and freshman infielder Justice Malone earned two RBI each on a pair of doubles, driving in four runs and giving the Big Green a three-run advantage.

Over the next five innings, BU whittled away at Dartmouth’s lead. Keleher provided an offensive spark for the Terriers with an RBI double in the second. After getting blanked in the third, a Boaz lead-off home run in the fourth cut the Big Green’s lead down to one.

Meanwhile, sophomore pitcher Kasey Ricard kept the game within reach for BU during a 5.1-inning relief outing. The current Patriot League ERA, opponent batting average and batters struck out leader recorded four straight innings of shutout pitching, striking out four Dartmouth batters in the process.

With two outs in the top of the sixth, Keleher tied the game with an RBI single, finishing a perfect three-for-three at the plate. But after an eight-pitch at-bat battle against Dartmouth freshman reliever Jensen Hall, a Roncin groundout stranded two runners on base and allowed the Big Green to escape the jam.

Ricard started the bottom of the sixth strong, sending Dartmouth’s Schramm and Hall back to the dugout on a lineout and a groundout. After loading the count facing freshman infielder Cwen Wilson, Ricard allowed a go-ahead home run as the Big Green jumped back out to a late 5-4 lead.

Down one in the seventh, BU had a pulse after Hall let up a walk and advanced a runner to second on a wild pitch. But the Dartmouth reliever recovered, striking out freshman outfielder Kylie Doherty and forcing soft contact on a Boaz foul-out to clinch the win for the Big Green.

Despite benefitting from three errors and out-batting Dartmouth 11-6, the Terriers struggled to clear the bases, stranding eight runners on base during the game.

Still, BU’s overall record remains far and away the best in the Patriot League, with second-place Lehigh trailing ten games behind the Terriers. BU still leads in overall batting, pitching and fielding, affirming the team’s status as the squad to beat in the Patriot League.

BU will look to rebound on the road this weekend during a three-game in-conference series against Colgate in Hamilton, New York. First pitch of game one is scheduled for Saturday at noon.