Terriers Fly South For Season-Opening FAU Kick-Off Classic

Terriers Fly South For Season-Opening FAU Kick-Off Classic

FAU Kick-Off Classic Tournament Central 
Daily Free Press Season Preview
Spartan Sports Network Interview with Coach Waters

BOSTON – Selected to finish third in the Patriot League preseason poll, the defending conference champion Boston University softball team will open the 2017 season against four opponents during the three-day FAU Kick-Off Classic starting Friday night.

Originally, the Terriers were scheduled to compete in five games but due to weather conditions in the northeast had to change their travel plans. Instead of facing Michigan State and Bethune-Cookman Friday morning, they will now battle the host and No. 23-nationally ranked Owls at 8:15 p.m. BU will meet North Florida (3:45 p.m.) and Bethune-Cookman (6 p.m.) on Saturday and then conclude the tournament Sunday morning against NC State instead of Troy at 9 a.m.

Sunday's matchup with the Wolfpack will mark the first one to take place against former head coach Shawn Rychcik ('05-'12) since he left the Terriers in the summer of 2012 for Raleigh, N.C. 

  • Led by head coach Ashley Waters, BU went 28-24 last season and 20-21 away from home, highlighted by a 3-0 sweep at the Patriot League tournament.
  • The Terriers batted .300 and held opponents to .236 ... They return their top seven batters but lost their top two pitchers Melanie Russell (14-11, 2.35 ERA) and Lauren Hynes (12-10, 2.24 ERA) to graduation.
  • Senior Brittany Younan (.379 avg., 31 RBI), senior Moriah Connolly (.355 avg, 28 SBs) and junior Jilee Schanda (.303, 17 RBI) were all named to the All-PL Preseason Team.
  • Senior Gabi Martinez (.261 avg) and sophomore Alex Heinen split time last year at first and catcher ... They combined for 53 RBIs, seven homers and 36 runs scored.
  • Junior Emma Wong (.316, 25 RBIs) had a team-high four triples and 35 runs scored, while sophomore Emily Morrow batted .307 ... Sophomore Alexa Ponce collected 19 hits in 50 at-bats for a .380 avg. with 13 RBIs.
  • Senior Makinna Akers (1-3, 5.43 ERA) only pitched in 38.2 innings last season but owns a career 17-16 record and 3.35 ERA ... Hampered by injuries, junior Sydni Overly owns a 1-4 record with a 4.93 ERA in in just 32.2 innings pitched ... They will be joined by freshmen Kali Magane and Lizzie Annerino in the circle this season.

#23 Florida Atlantic (Friday, 8:15 p.m.)
  • The defending C-USA champion Owls went 51-9 last season, including 29-6 at home and 1-2 in the NCAA Regionals.
  • FAU batted .301 last season and held opponents to .172.
  • Madisyn Palmer is the top returning hitter with a .432 batting average nd 26 stolen bases.
  • Emily Lochten (.342 avg.) posted 14 homers and 46 RBIs with 25 stolen bases.
  • FAU returns its top two pitchers, Kylee Hanson (28-5, 0.76 ERA) and Amanda Wilson (16-4, 1.69 ERA), who combined for a staggering 389 strikeouts in 349.1 innings.
  • The Owls won last year's meeting, 4-3, at home by scoring two runs in the seventh and the walk-off in the bottom of the eighth.
North Florida (Saturday, 3:45 p.m.)
  • The Ospreys went 20-29 last season and 14-22 away from home.
  • UNF batted .274 last season and held opponents to .320.
  • Navia Penrod earned a team-high .355 avg and 19 stolen bases and is the top returning RBI producer alongside Jenna Brownell (.269) at 16 apiece.
  • Logan Green (9-15, 4.07 ERA) is the top returning pitcher with two saves. 
  • UNF won the last meeting, 3-1, in eight innings in 2012.
Bethune-Cookman (Saturday, 6 p.m.)
  • The Wildcats went 21-32 last season and 15-24 away from home.
  • BCU batted .266 last season and held opponents to .304.
  • Annie Bakenhus (.368) and Iesha Waters (.336) are the top two returning hitters with a combined 47 stolen bases .. Waters also had four homers, 36 RBIs and nine doubles.
  • Sabrina Anguiano (13-16, 3.85 ERA) tallied 109 strikeouts in 198 innings.
  • The teams are meeting for the first time in program history.
NC State (Sunday, 9 a.m.)
  • The Wolfpack went 23-33 last season and 10-16 away from home after reaching the 2015 NCAA Super Regionals.
  • NCSU batted .270 last season and held opponents to .314 while boasting 72 homers in 56 contests.
  • Tyler Ross (.380) recorded an impressive .766 slugging percentage with 10 doubles, 18 homers, 27 stolen bases and 50 RBIs, while Molly Hutchison (.329) had 11 homers and 51 RBIs, respectively.
  • Top-returning pitchers Harli Hubbard (5-7, 5.42 ERA) and Brittany Nimmo (5-8, 5.77 ERA) combined for five saves and 19 starts last season.
  • The teams are meeting for the first time in program history.
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