The Bearkat softball team defeated the Boston University Terriers 3-2 in the second game of a doubleheader yesterday thanks to all-star performances by SHSU pitcher Rachel Atzenhoffer, shortstop April Bardwell and outfielder Paige Oberhammer.
The Bearkats retaliated from a 6-0 loss in the first game.
Atzenhoffer threw nine strong innings.
“Rachel really hung in there,” said SHSU softball coach Bob Brock. “She was able to throw her big pitches, her rise ball.”
The second game was scoreless into the third until a pitch in the dirt allowed Boston to get on the board 1-0.
SHSU held the Terriers in the fourth with a launch to home plate by SHSU’s center fielder.
The Bearkats brought their bats to the fourth inning. Sophomore Erin Lindsey rocketed a double off the left field wall allowing Melissa Cosgrove to score. Chrissy Dileo’s double up the middle brought home Sarah Sweany, pinch runner for Cosgrove, upping the Bearkats 2-1.
Atzenhoffer allowed one run in the fifth, tying the game 2-2. Boston threatened to get ahead, but Atzenhoffer ended that threat and Boston’s at-bat with a strikeout.
The Terriers brought in a lefty pitcher who held the score at a tie.
The Bearkats quickly sent Boston back to the dugout in the sixth catching two pop flies to center and right field and closing with an Atzenhoffer strike out.
A double to right center by Cosgrove had SHSU hopeful of getting ahead, but Boston lefty Julie Henneke held the Kats.
Shortstop April Bardwell dove to catch a line drive in the seventh, throwing to first for the out, preventing the Terriers from getting ahead. Henneke walked Sara Gatlin, but held SHSU, sending the game into extra innings.
Atzenhoffer, still strong after eight innings, struck out Boston’s first batter. Bardwell dove for another line drive and made the out at first for yet another closed inning.
“Rachel threw the strikes and especially in a tie-breaker, strikeouts are what hurts a team,” Brock said.
Leftfielder Paige Oberhammer made a game-saving catch at the wall in the ninth. The Bearkats finally found the ball when Chrissy Dileo hit a line drive on a full count bringing home pinch runner Jamie Tomasini for the 3-2 victory.
With the first game loss behind them, Brock said they had a chance to come back in the second game and they made a good team effort.
“What we’ve stressed is getting hits when you really need them and we did that,” he said.
The Bearkats lost the first game of the doubleheader 6-0. Boston dominated at the plate getting 13 hits and SHSU only collected four. Boston catcher Jennifer Shields went 2-4 with three RBIs.
Pitcher Julie Henneke and shortstop Jamie Haas both went 2-4 as well.
Henneke threw seven innings, giving up four hits and no runs. She threw four strikeouts.
SHSU pitcher Whitney Heath (2-4) got the loss, giving up one run on eight hits in six innings. Heath threw one strikeout.
Sophomore Melissa Hayslip relieved Heath in the seventh, giving up five hits and five runs.
April Bardwell went 2-3 for the Bearkats. Kaltwasser went 1-2 and Lauren Boone went 1-3.
The Bearkat softball team returns to action this weekend in a series against Nicholls State in Huntsville. Saturday’s doubleheader starts at 1 p.m. and Sunday’s game also starts at 1 p.m.