May 2, 2014
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BOSTON - Currently riding an 11-game win streak, the Boston University softball team will host Bucknell in the final weekend series of the regular season with the first pitch of Saturday's doubleheader slated for 12 p.m. After recognizing seniors Brittany Clendenny, Amy Ekart, Chelsea Kehr and Jayme Mask on Sunday, the two teams will compete in the third game at 12 p.m.
The Terriers enter the weekend at 30-18 and 11-4 in the Patriot League standings. They have already clinched a berth for next week's four-team Patriot League tournament but will still have much to play for, as the No. 1 seed remains up for grabs.
Lehigh is currently No. 1 with a 12-3 record but will face a tough challenge at Army (9-6 PL) this weekend. BU owns the tiebreaker over the Mountain Hawks if the two teams were to tie for first in the standings. Bucknell (20-22, 9-6 PL) is tied for third with the Black Knights but can move up as high as No. 2 with a sweep over the Terriers.
During the win streak, BU has posted a 6-0 record at home and has outscored opponents, 68-18. The Terriers are batting .344 and hold a staggering 28-2 advantage in steals. Mask leads the way with a .432 average, 11 runs scored and 11 stolen bases. She needs to reach home plate four more times to tie April Setterlund ('11) for the school record of 170 runs scored and needs 12 hits to tie Setterlund's record of 264 career hits.
Named Patriot League Player of the Week on Tuesday, Clendenny clobbered all four of her homers this season last week and currently owns a team-high 11 RBIs during the win streak while batting .341. Her classmate Kehr has 16 doubles this season, second most in program history, and is batting .357 during the streak, while Ekart has tallied two home runs and a .355 batting average.
Junior Emily Felbaum is batting .280 on the year and has been a key contributor the last two weeks, averaging .375 with seven RBIs and eight runs scored. Freshman Brittany Younan has posted a .568 slugging percentage during the streak and has swiped five bags alongside classmate Moriah Connolly.
In the circle, reigning PL Pitcher of the Week Melanie Russell (8-3, 2.21 ERA) has collected five of the 11 victories with a 1.60 ERA. She is limiting opponents to a .143 batting average and has struck out 41 batters in 35 innings of work. Freshman Makinna Akers (8-2, 2.29 ERA) has pitched two complete games has posted 15 strikeouts against two walks en route to four wins, while sophomore Lauren Hynes (14-13, 3.54 ERA) has thrown 14 straight shutout innings.
Batting .285 on the season, Bucknell has won four of its last five games, including a 2-1 mark against Colgate. The Bison fell 6-5 in nine innings but then outscored the Raiders, 20-4, in the last two contests. Cydnee Sanders is batting .483 and owns a .608 slugging percentage with 13 doubles, while Kristen Zahn (.371 avg) has six homers and 31 RBIs. Jacee Almond (.362 avg) also provides power in the lineup with five home runs.
Four women have appeared in the circle for the Bison. Dana Nielsen (6-11, 4.47) has made the most starts with 19 and owns 100 strikeouts in 105 innings. Lara Bean (7-4, 2.84 ERA) is holding opponents to .197 batting average. Amanda Fazio (3-4, 2.43 ERA) has made nine starts, and Cindy Cherness (4-3, 1.94 ERA) has posted three saves this season.
Following the three-game series, the Terriers will make their first appearance in the Patriot League tournament at a location to be determined. The event will be held on May 8-10.