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UMass and BU meet for second time this season

After shutting out Boston University in its home opener, the Massachusetts softball team will face the Terriers again tonight in their second match-up of the season.

In the first meeting, UMass (25-7, 8-0 Atlantic 10) had a strong third inning to take a 3-0 lead that the Terriers (20-13, 5-1 American East) could not recover from. Whitney Williams singled followed by Kyllie Magill’s fifth home run of the season to put the Minutewomen up by two. Sarah Reeves came through with a single to drive in Katie Bettencourt, who scored the final run for her team.

Sara Plourde also contributed to the 3-0 victory, holding the No. 1 hitter in the nation, April Setterlund, to one single in the seventh inning. Plourde struck out Setterlund in the first inning and forced a fly out in the fourth. Setterlund came into the game leading the AE in numerous categories, including a batting average of .595 and an on base percentage of .663.

Since going 1-for-3 against Plourde, Setterlund had four hits and two RBIs against Connecticut last Thursday. Despite the 10-9 loss, Setterlund played a crucial role for her team as she singled to send home teammate Erica Casacci for the potential tying run. However, Casacci was called out at home despite Setterlund’s efforts.

Earlier in the game, Setterlund singled twice and scored twice. Overall, the offense previously shutout by UMass recorded a home run, two doubles and 13 hits against UConn.

More recently, the Terriers went 2-1 in a series against AE opponent Albany. In the first two games, BU racked up 15 runs off of 17 hits as they defeated Albany 4-3 and 11-0.

Casacci had a strong showing for the Terriers, going 4-for-7 and improving her batting average to .306 for the season. Fellow sophomore Emily Roesch, who brings a .282 batting average, had four RBIs and a home run over the two games.

In Game 3, BU fell to the Great Danes 4-3 despite Setterlund’s record-tying game. She drove in her 44th RBI of the season in the first inning, which tied Chiya Louie’s record set in 2007. Senior Rachel Moeller was the only other batter to hit an RBI for the Terriers in the game.

In the past four games, BU’s pitchers have pitched consistently despite the two losses. In the loss to Albany, Cassidi Hardy and Whitney Tuthill combined to strike out seven batters and allowed six hits.

Hardy carried a no-hitter in Game 1 up until the fourth inning and earned her 12th victory of the season, while Tuthill struck out six batters in Game 2 and allowed one hit.

In the loss to UMass, Hardy gave up three runs off of six hits. Tuthill pitched the final two innings and allowed two hits. The two pitchers come into Tuesday’s game with a 2.62 and 2.54 earned run average, respectively.

The Minutewomen come into the game off of a weekend sweep against A-10 opponent Charlotte. The 49ers fell to UMass 3-0 in Game 1 and 5-1 in Game 2.

Plourde continued her strong pitching as she completed her fourth no-hitter of the season in Game 1 against Charlotte. Game 2 had similar results, with Plourde allowing three hits and striking out 17 batters. The one hit allowed by Plourde came from a single by Serena Smith and served as the first run Plourde has allowed in 26 innings.

The maroon and white offense also looks consistent coming into the BU game. Magill recorded her fifth home run of the season in Game 1 against the 49ers, along with scoring a run in Game 2. Bettencourt helped out with a two-run home run, along with Reeves hitting her team-leading 22nd RBI of the season.

Meghan Carta, who leads UMass in home runs, had two key doubles during the series and feels confident in her team as they face the Terriers for a second time.

“We feel like we can pretty much handle anyone,” Carta said. “Our offense, our defense, our pitching; we really feel like it’s all coming together now and hopefully it carries onto the rest of the season.”

The Minutewomen begin play at 5 p.m. at BU and look for their 11th straight victory of the season.

Geena Lombardi can be reached at glombard@student.umass.edu.

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