In-state rival Terriers on tap for Minutewomen

By Staff

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian
Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

The Massachusetts softball team is beginning to look like its dominant self in the Atlantic 10 conference.

After another successful home campaign this past weekend, the Minutewomen (21-15, 10-3 A-10) look to strengthen their intimidating presence in the northeast as they take on Boston University on Wednesday in Amherst.

UMass has won four of their last five games and are in the midst of a 12-game home stand. Three of the wins have been tight, one-run affairs including the most recent thriller on Sunday over George Washington.

After falling behind by four runs, with two innings left, the Minutewomen scored two runs in the sixth courtesy of RBI singles from Tiffany Meeks and Jordan Storro. Audrey Boutin’s two-run home run, her third of the season, tied the game in the following inning and Kyllie Magill’s run-scoring single in the first extra inning capped the walk-off comeback victory.

It was the latest walk-off win since Teea Rogers ripped the game-winning hit in the bottom of the seventh inning on April 3 for a 4-3 win over Saint Louis.

With BU on the horizon for the midweek contest, the Minutewomen will look to continue the success they showed against the Terriers as the Maroon and White defeated them, 3-2, back on April 6.

In that game, Sara Plourde pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits and four walks for the Minutewomen. She struck out eight Terrier batters and saw her school record no-hit innings streak end at 18.2 innings when Brittany Clendenny doubled in the second inning. Plourde’s shutout innings streak also ended at 23 innings on Holli Floetker’s sacrifice fly in the same inning.

While BU (27-12, 9-3 America East) broke through against the previously untouchable Plourde, UMass did just enough on offense, scratching out  runs in the third, fourth and sixth innings.

Following two groundouts in the third, the next two batters reached before Boutin stroked an opposite-field liner for an RBI single to score Lindsey Webster.

The next inning, Magill hit a 1-1 pitch with two outs for a run scoring single. Two innings later, Magill tripled home the final Minutewomen run to score Cyndil Matthew, who had reached base on an error.

UMass chipped away at BU starter Floetker, who went 3.2 innings and allowed two runs on four hits and three walks without a strikeout, while Erin Schuppert pitched the remaining 3.1 innings in relief.

For the season, the Terriers have primarily used three starting pitchers including Floetker and Schuppert as well as Whitney Tuthill. The trio has a combined 27-11 record, with Floetker and Schuppert teaming for a 19-6 mark. Tuthill has the highest earned run average of the three, sporting a miniscule 2.14 ERA in 13 starts.

Schuppert has gone 2-0 since her loss to the Minutewomen and is now 9-3 for the season, while Floetker leads the team with 10 wins.

BU is second in its conference, similarly to UMass, and is currently on an eight-game winning streak as of Tuesday afternoon. The Terriers’ latest affair was a 9-0 romp at Hartford on Monday that lasted five innings. They’re scheduled to play a game at Holy Cross on Tuesday before traveling to UMass on Wednesday.

Chelsea Kehr, who drove in a run against Plourde last game, leads BU with seven home runs as well as 35 runs batted in. April Setterlund and Jayme Mask lead the team with batting averages of .375 and .371, respectively. Setterlund was also a 2010 First-Team All-American and AE Player of the Year.

The Minutewomen own an 11-3 record versus the Terriers all-time.

Pete Vasquez can be reached at [email protected]