Softball: BU Notches a Mercy-Rule Win and a Tie Against PC

By Will Hanley

BOSTON– The 22nd-ranked Boston University softball team (41-4-1) won one game and tied the other during a home doubleheader against Providence College (18-20-1) Tuesday afternoon.

The pair of games marked the second and third time the Terriers and the Friars met this season. BU won the first game of the season series 5-3 in Allston on April 9th.

BU wasted no time putting PC in a hole during game one.

After BU pitcher Allison Boaz began her start by pitching a hitless frame with two strikeouts. In the bottom half of the inning, the first five Terrier batters to step to the plate all got on base while facing PC starter Alyssa Twomey.

Senior infielder Lauren Keleher — team batting average leader and Patriot League OPS leader — gave BU the spark with a single that was followed up with a double down the left field line from senior infielder Kayla Roncin to put runners in scoring position. One pitch later, graduate infielder Caitlin Coker smacked a single to bring home Keleher.

The situation for the Friars worsened when an infield error on a hit by Lizzy Avery sent home Roncin — Patriot League total hits and RBI leader. Leading by two with no outs on the board and two runners on base, freshman outfielder Kylie Doherty connected on a double to right to add a third run to BU’s lead.

After that nightmarish sequence, Twomey — PC’s strikeout leader — composed herself. While she’d allow another earned run on a Boaz sacrifice flyout, the Friar freshman threw a strikeout and forced a pop-out to escape the inning with the score set at 4-0 entering the second.

Boaz pitched well to start the next inning, pitching her third strikeout of the day and forcing a groundout, but then got sloppy, hitting a batter with a pitch and issuing a walk before forcing a groundout to escape the jam. Twomey picked up where she left off at the end of the first, forcing a ground out, a fly out and a pop-up to sit down the Terrier batters 1-2-3 to finish the second.

In the third, PC would get a base hit, but after a ground out and a double play, the Friars were no closer to erasing BU’s lead. The prospect of making a comeback became bleaker for PC following a leadoff home run to right center hit by Coker to put the Terriers up 5-0.

While she would escape the frame without allowing another run, the end of the third marked the end of Twomey’s outing in the circle.

Boaz went on to pitch a complete game for the Terriers. During the final three innings of the contest, Boaz allowed three hits and a walk but stranded all four runners on base, forcing poor contact and recording three more strikeouts to lock up the shutout and finish an impressive 86-pitch appearance.

The Terriers continued to pour on runs late into the game. After getting on base with a single to open the bottom of the sixth, Coker stole second and was advanced to third on a wild pitch. A sacrifice fly from Doherty the following at-bat put the Terriers up by six, earning the Freshman her second RBI of the day.

BU put the game on ice in the sixth. Junior pinch hitter Tyesha Williams got to first base on a walk and made the trip to second the following at-bat when senior infielder Lauren Nett knocked a single to left. A Keleher sacrifice ground out advanced the runners into scoring position, allowing for a Roncin single and Coker sacrifice fly to drive in Williams and Nett, bringing the score to 8-0 and forcing a mercy rule to be invoked.

While BU’s bats were on fire in game one, they went quiet in the second match of the doubleheader.

After batting .375 as a team in the early match, the Terriers only managed three hits and stranded 11 runs on base while facing PC pitchers Tori Grifone and Jessica Walter in the closer. Grifone had an impressive performance as the game two starter for the Friars, allowing no earned runs and striking out seven BU batters during a marathon 6.0 inning, 121-pitch outing.

The only major blemish on Grifone’s performance was the triple she allowed to BU sophomore infielder Brooke Deppiesse in the bottom of the second. The following at-bat, Deppiesse reached home plate on a passed ball, scoring the sole run for the Terriers.

BU’s Kasey Ricard — Patriot League ERA, opponent batting average, and total strikeouts leader — had a modest performance in the circle. The Sophomore pitcher threw a complete game and allowed fewer walks than the opposing team’s starter, but Ricard also allowed five hits and managed only four strikeouts during her 116-pitch outing.

That’s not to say that Ricard pitched poorly. Through four innings of play, the Terrier starter held the Friars scoreless, but after forcing a groundout against the first PC batter she saw in the fifth, Grifone stepped into the batter’s box and cranked a solo homer to left center, evening the game at one apiece.

PC and BU would both get runners on base in the final two innings of the game, but none were driven home, ending the game in a 1-1 tie, breaking a 14-game win streak for the Terriers.

BU will remain at home for a one-off non-conference game against Merrimack College (17-28). First pitch is scheduled for Thursday, April 25th at 2:15 p.m.