May 10, 2014
Patriot League Softball Tournament Central | Box score
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Boston University added yet another title during its first year in the Patriot League as the Terriers rode the hot bat of Chelsea Kehr and the reliable arm of Melanie Russell to a 10-5 victory over Bucknell in the 2014 Softball Championships at Lehigh University's Kaufman Field.
Boston University, the second seed in the four-team field, was a perfect 3-0 in the double-elimination event. The Terriers posted wins over third-seeded Bucknell to begin and end the competition to bookend around an 8-0 win over Army on Friday.
As she did against the Black Knights, Kehr ignited the Terriers offense with a three-run home run. Against Bucknell on Saturday, Kehr hit a 1-1 pitch just over the center field fence in the third inning to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 Boston University lead. The senior first baseman hit a three-run blast to a similar spot in the first inning against the Black Knights a day earlier.
Bucknell, who had jumped out to leads of 1-0 and 2-1 against BU starter Melanie Russell, answered the Kehr blast with one of its own off the bat of freshman Jacee Almond. The second baseman put the Bison back in front 5-4 with her second home run of the tournament to go along with a pair of triples.
Boston University recaptured the lead in the top of the sixth with a pair of runs. Senior Jayme Mask's two-out single plated Moriah Connolly with the go-ahead run. The Terriers pushed four more across in the top of the seventh as the Bison uncharacteristically struggled with their defense in the frame.
Russell allowed two baserunners in the bottom of the seventh, but got Cheylan Andolino to foul out to catcher Amy Ekart to end the game and pick up her third complete game tournament victory in as many days.
Kehr, the American East Rookie of the Year in 2011 when she slugged 10 home runs, battled back from injuries that limited her playing time and production during her sophomore and junior seasons. She returned to playing full-time as a senior and the tournament home runs were her first of 2014. The Florence, N.J. native was named the Tournament Most Valuable Player.
Kehr was joined on the Patriot League Softball All-Tournament team by teammates Russell, Mask and senior shortstop Brittany Clendenny. Bucknell was represented by Almond, Cydnee Sanders and Amanda Fazio. Army's Casey McCravey and Caroline Smith and Lehigh's Emily Bausher and Vicky Lattanzio round out the 11 player squad.
The victory represents the sixth women's title for Boston University this year, which is a Patriot League record. The half-dozen titles is also a Patriot League mark for a first year institution, eclipsing the five won by Bucknell and Fordham in the League's inaugural campaign.
The Terriers earn the Patriot League's automatic bid in to the NCAA Women's Softball Tournament. Boston University will learn its placement in the field during the selection show at 10 p.m. on Sunday, May 11.