BOSTON – The Boston University softball team’s run of three straight Patriot League tournament titles came to an end on Saturday afternoon, as Lehigh posted wins of 1-0 and 4-1 in the 2022 championship round at BU Softball Field.
Needing just one win to claim their fourth straight automatic NCAA berth, the Terriers (40-17) were held scoreless for 13 straight innings by Lehigh’s (30-18-1) pitchers before getting on the board in the seventh inning of game two.
Tournament MVP Gabriella Nori (11-10) first pitched a five-hit shutout and was the beneficiary of a BU throwing error in Saturday’s opener to edge junior Allison Boaz (22-6), as the Terriers stranded a runner in scoring position in five of the seven innings. In the rematch, the Mountain Hawks used back-to-back two-out homers in the third inning to clinch the title.
Named to the PL All-Tournament Team, Boaz had allowed just one earned run and nine total hits in 20 combined innings of work before entering the final contest of the tournament. Sophomore Lauren Kelher posted a .500 on-base percentage with four walks and three singles while making multiple impressive plays in the outfield, including one that landed in ESPN’s #SCTop10, to join Boaz on the squad. graduate student Jen Horita was recognized for the second consecutive year by leading BU with a .417 batting average in the three-day event.
GAME 1: Lehigh – 1, BU – 0
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Moved to the top of the lineup after drawing three walks over the first two games of the tournament, Keleher started the game with another one and advanced to second on Horita’s sac bunt before Nori got out of the jam with a line out and ground out.
- Coker led off the second with a single and took a second on a wild pitch with one out, but again, Nori kept the game scoreless with a pair of fly outs.
- After earning a single in both the first and second innings against Boaz, Lehigh’s Josie Charles started the third with an infield single and moved to second on a sac bunt.
- On the next at-bat, Boaz got Emily Cimino to ground out to third, but there was an errant throw in an attempt to get the advancing Charles out, allowing Lehigh to score the game’s lone run.
- Lehigh only threatened Boaz one other time in the bottom of the sixth on a lead-off single and sac bunt before grounding out twice.
- Trying to get on the scoreboard, senior Aliyah Huerta-Leipner singled to center in the fifth with one out and took second on a sac bunt from junior Audrey Sellers before the Terriers flew out to center.
- Horita and sophomore Lauren Nett led off the sixth and seventh innings, respectively, with singles, but the Terriers were unable to produce a clutch hit against Nori for the loss.
GAME 2: Lehigh – 4, BU – 1
HOW IT HAPPENED
- In the top of the first, Cimino singled up the middle with one out, but Boaz caught a liner and turned a double play to end the threat.
- Setting a program record for hits in a season at 81, sophomore Kayla Roncin singled through the left side with two outs against Katelyn Young (18-6), who then induced a ground out to keep the game scoreless.
- Senior Emily Gant started the bottom of the second with a walk and took second on Nett’s sac bunt before Young earned a line out and ground out.
- After striking out to start the third, Lehigh hit back-to-back singles before Boaz got a force out at third to keep runners at first and second.
- Earning a full count, Jaelynn Chesson launched a three-run homer to right while breaking Lehigh’s record for homers in a season at 14.
- Addie Kittel followed with a homer to center for the 4-0 advantage, leading to junior Lizzie Avery entering the game.
- Avery retired the next 12 batters with the help of six strikeouts to keep BU within striking distance.
- BU had two runners on base with the help of an error and Keleher’s single, but Young drew a fly out and ground out.
- In the seventh, Huerta-Leipner was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a wild pitch before scoring on sophomore Kate Pryors pinch-hit RBI single.
- Young sealed the win with back-to-back ground outs.
- The Terriers finish with the third most wins in program history and their fourth straight regular season title.
- BU’s 1-0 loss in the first game snapped an 11-game win streak in the tournament dating back to 2018.
- BU and Lehigh met in the championship round for the fifth straight tournament. The Mountain Hawks won both championship round games at home in 2017 as well, 1-0 and 4-3.
- The Terriers batted .242 for the tournament while holding teams to .165 but did not produce a single extra-base hit.