Softball: BU Routes Merrimack 9-0

By Will Hanley

BOSTON – The 22nd-ranked Boston University softball team (42-4-1) commandingly defeated Merrimack College (17-29) with a 9-0 mercy rule win at home Thursday afternoon.

Coming off a 14-win streak-breaking 1-1 tie on Tuesday versus Providence College (18-20-1), the Terriers hosted the finale of a seven-game homestand. The team – still at the top of the Patriot League (PL)  standings – entered the matchup seeking to begin a new streak.

BU graduate Alison Boaz was tapped to start in the circle. The Terrier pitcher got two quick groundouts in four pitches, but her control lapsed the next at-bat when she hit Merrimack outfielder Madison Cerpa with a pitch.

The runner would not be on base for long. Boaz caught the following Warrior batter looking to strand Cerpa at first, earn her first strikeout of the day and hold the game scoreless.

After the first two batters in BU’s order filed out and grounded out, graduate infielder Caitlin Coker slapped a single to right-center and stole second to spark the first offensive rally of the game for the Terriers.

Merrimack freshman starting pitcher Anna Gedacht then walked graduate pitcher Lizzy Avery to advance Coker to second. Sophomore infielder Brooke Deppiesse then connected on a single to load the bases for outfielder Kylie Doherty. However, the freshman could not capitalize, batting into a fielder’s choice to end the inning with no runs scored.

Infielder Thiana Brito tried to get momentum going for the Warriors with a leadoff single to begin the second, but Boaz remained unflappable. The graduate forced a groundout and notched two more strikeouts to keep the game scoreless.

The Terriers hosted a baserunning clinic in the second, stealing three bases. Senior infielder Kate Pryor hit a lead-off single to left, stole second, and reached third on a wild pitch. Boaz would ground out the next at-bat but drove home Pryor to open the scoring for BU.

Seniors Lauren Nett and Lauren Keleher – PL leader in OPS and runs scored – hit back-to-back singles to reload the bases. Senior infielder Kayla Roncin – PL total hits and RBI leader – reached first on a throwing error that sent Nett and Keleher home to extend BU’s lead to three.

Roncin promptly stole second base before a Coker groundout moved her to third. Flustered in the circle, Gedacht issued Avery her second walk of the day. The pitcher then stole second, putting two runners in scoring position. Deppiesse hit her second single of the day to put BU up 5-0.

The scoring would end there for BU. Doherty, who had a challenging outing at the plate, stranded her fourth runner of the day with a ground with a ground out to end the second.

Although she was pitching on short rest, Boaz continued to clock in an impressive starting appearance for the Terriers. Aside from letting up a single hit by Merrimack infielder Courtney Lanpher, Boaz was lights out, pitching a groundout and two more strikeouts to blank the Warriors in the third.

After stranding two runners during a disappointing third inning at the plate, BU’s bats caught fire again in the fourth. Coker led off with her second base hit of the day and got to second after Merrimack freshman reliever Cecelia Imbimbo walked Avery for a third time.

Deppiesse wrapped up a perfect three-for-three day at the plate with an RBI double to drive in her third run. Immediately after, more sloppy fielding from Merrimack gifted BU two more runs, bringing the score to 8-0 with Doherty on second and no outs.

After a flyout and a strikeout, Nett drove Doherty home with her second base hit of the day, putting a ninth run on the board for BU. A Keleher groundout the next at-bat ended the fourth inning.

In the top of the fifth, Boaz, who had pitched a complete game two days before, was pulled in favor of Avery. With an opportunity to end the game early, Avery forced a ground out and caught two batters swinging to clinch the 9-0 mercy rule victory.

BU was dominant in all phases of this game. The Terriers batted .416 at the plate, racking up 10 hits and stealing five bases. On the defensive end, Boaz had a brief but terrific 49-pitch appearance, allowing only two hits and striking out six batters in four innings.

The Terriers will travel to Easton, PA, this weekend to play a three-game in-conference series against Lafayette College (4-30). First pitch of the Saturday doubleheader is scheduled for noon. The game will be viewable on ESPN+.