Previewing The Lafayette, La. Regional – Boston University
The Lafayette, La. softball regional gets underway on Friday at Lamson Park, with four teams vying for a trip to the NCAA Super Regionals.
Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns, the top-seed in the regional, and the #14-overall seed, will be playing host to the Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, and Boston Terriers in the double-elimination event.
Texas A&M will take on Texas in the first game of the regional, on Friday at 3:30 pm, followed by a match-up pitting Louisiana and Boston U at 6 o'clock.
Today, we preview the Boston University Terriers:
Making its fifth NCAA tournament appearance in eight years, Boston University, the 2016 Patriot League champion, will be making their first regional appearance since 2014.
The Terriers, who enter the regional with an overall record of 28-22, fell to Texas A&M, who will also be in the regional, 9-1, back on March 4.
Boston U. is not a team with a lot of power, hitting 9 homers the entire season, as compared to 22 for the opposition.
By contrast, Louisiana will enter this weekend with 98 homers, and have six players (Lexie Elkins, Shellie Landry, Aleah Craighton, D.J. Sanders, Sara Corbello, and Kelsey Vincent) who have out-homered the entire Boston U. team by themselves.
But the Terriers can score. They have five players in their line-up that are hitting a .300, or higher, led by junior infielder Brittany Younan, who is hitting a .385 with 2 homers and 31 runs batted in and junior Moriah Connolly, who is hitting a .352 with 28 stolen bases.
Offensively, look for Boston U. to work the count, put the bat on the ball, play small ball, and maybe look to swipe a bag.
The strength of the Terriers is their pitching staff.
Senior right-hander Melanie Russell will enter the regional at 14-9 with a 2.06 ERA., while senior lefty Lauren Hynes is currently 12-10 with a 2.24 ERA.
Both are experienced pitchers who have had success in regional play over their careers, and will have to pitch well for Boston U. to be successful this weekend.
Ashley Waters, in her first year as head coach of the Terriers, has done a really nice job, and will have the Terriers ready to compete this weekend.
To be truthful, Boston U. just doesn't have the depth or firepower that Louisiana, Texas A&M, or Texas will bring into the regional.
That being said, the Terriers won't be intimidated, having been in an NCAA Regional 5 times in the last 8 years, including a big win over Louisville in 2014.
The three other teams in the regional can't take Boston U. lightly, because while they likely won't advance past this regional, they're very much capable of keeping somebody from advancing.
The complete regional schedule is below:
NCAA LAFAYETTE REGIONAL SCHEDULE
Friday, May 20, 2016
G1: 3:30 pm – Texas A&M vs. Texas (ESPN2)
G2: 6:00 pm – Boston University vs. Louisiana (ESPNU)
Saturday, May 21, 2016
G3: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2
G4: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2
G5: Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 3
Sunday, May 22, 2016
G6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5
G7: (if necessary) Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6