Softball Home Opener Today
Women aim for third consecutive America East title
A sure sign of spring comes to campus today with the home opener of the Boston University softball season. The Terriers gained national prominence after winning back-to-back America East titles in 2009 and 2010 as well as wins in each of the last two NCAA tournaments.
When the Terriers take on Harvard this afternoon at 4 p.m., they will already have 19 games under their belt (12-7). The team spent much of the last month in Kentucky, Georgia, and Florida facing off against such challengers as Louisville, Long Island, La Salle, Colorado State, Kent State, and Texas Tech, among others.
First Team All-American April Setterlund (SMG’11) has returned to form, batting .412, with five home runs and 20 RBIs so far this year. In a doubleheader against the Colorado State Rams March 15, she had two grand slams and a three-run homer.
Setterlund, a three-time America East All-Conference First Team selection, has been the steadiest performer on the field for the Terriers. Last year, she shattered BU’s batting average record—besting it by nearly 70 percentage points, with a .482—and became the program’s first-ever First Team All-American.
In addition to her year-end accolades, she ranked fifth nationally in batting average and fifth in on-base percentage (.579). Defensively, she’s held down the centerfield spot for the last three seasons, owning a career .990 fielding percentage.
Among the other returning starters are Caitlin Rentler (SAR’11), Erica Casacci (CAS’12), and Whitney Tuthill (CAS’13). These players bring a great deal of experience to the current season, but the team has many new faces as well.
“We are going to be young with the possibility of six freshmen in the lineup at one time,” says softball head coach Shawn Rychcik. “There will be moments where they are searching for confidence and how to play at this level. Once they get there, though, we’ll be fine.”
Setterlund will be joined in the outfield today by Casacci, last year’s starting second baseman. Casacci not only provided solid defense, but also a solid bat, finishing the season with a .298 batting average and scoring 47 runs—ranking third all-time for a single season. In addition, she added 13 RBIs and was named to the America East All-Tournament team after a solid three-game tourney.
The Terriers face a challenge this season in replacing pitching great Cassidi Hardy (CAS’10), who returns as an assistant coach, but a handful of talented hurlers are prepared to try and fill her shoes, among them Tuthill, who was named to last year’s America East All-Rookie Team as a freshman.
Rentler is again behind the plate for the Terriers. She took over as starting catcher in 2010 and was a steadying force there last season. She brings a solid bat to the lineup as well, hitting .288 in 163 plate appearances, with 8 doubles and 35 RBIs last season.
The Terriers host Harvard today at 4 p.m. at the BU Softball Field, 89 Ashford St., next to the Track and Tennis Center. The game is free and open to the public. The latest information on any weather postponements will be here. The next home game is Thursday, March 31, against rival Boston College, at 4 p.m. at the Softball Field.
Stefanie Howlett can be reached at email@example.com.+ Comments