Softball Breaks Even

While the university paused for Spring Break during the first week of March, the Boston College softball team trekked south to begin its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule. The Eagles bounced from Georgia to Florida. After playing six games in five days, the team finished the penultimate leg of its season-opening road trip exactly where it began–two games above the .500 mark.

The highlight of the Spring Break games occurred in the nightcap of BC’s Mar. 5 doubleheader at the University of Central Florida Softball Complex in Orlando, Fl. Freshman pitcher Taylor Coroneos tossed a complete game shutout, allowing just three hits and no walks. She struck out five in the team’s 5-0 win over Jacksonville University. In an economic performance the Eagles needed due to their compact schedule, Coroneos responded with a 79-pitch, 57-strike gem in her first collegiate start. She relied on a five-run burst from her offense in the bottom of the fifth inning, which broke a scoreless tie. Coroneos helped her cause with a bunt single. She came around to score on first baseman Nicole D’Argento’s RBI single up the middle. Two batters later, senior second baseman Alana DiMaso belted a three-run home run to left field, extending the lead to 5-0. The top of the BC order lit up Jacksonville starter Victoria Brown, who allowed seven hits, walked three, and struck out two in six innings of work.

The victory in the doubleheader finale was especially important for BC after it suffered a 9-1 defeat at the hands of the UCF Knights in the first half of the twin bill. The Knights jumped all over BC freshman starting pitcher Jordan Weed in the bottom of the first inning. UCF loaded the bases with nobody out on a bunt single, a walk, and an error by left fielder Annie Sommers. For a moment, it appeared Weed would escape the jam unscathed, as she quickly got two outs. Shortstop Brittany Solis took advantage though, nailing a double into left-center field to clear the bases and give UCF a lead it would not relinquish. The Eagles would scratch across a run in the fifth inning on a D’Argento double, but Weed allowed five more runs in the bottom half of the inning. Four of those runs came on a pinch-hit grand slam by Jessica Ujvari, which sealed the Knights’ triumph. Weed finished with nine runs allowed, albeit just five of them were earned in 4.1 innings pitched.

One day before, the Eagles attempted to upset the No. 1 team in the nation on the road. BC could not pull off the upset at the University of Florida’s KSP Stadium though, despite grabbing a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single by Weed. The Gators chipped away at Weed throughout the game, scoring twice in the fourth inning and twice in the fifth, before plating three more in the sixth to put the game out of reach. The Gators improved to 22-0 on the season with its 7-3 win over BC.

Prior to reaching Florida, the Eagles began their road trip in Atlanta, Ga. A three-game series against ACC rival Georgia Tech saw BC win two of three games, including a 6-2 victory in the rubber match at Mewborn Field. After a four-run seventh inning explosion by the Eagles, Weed finished the Yellow Jackets off with her third scoreless frame of the day. The victory marked just the fourth time the Eagles have ever defeated Georgia Tech in softball. A split in Saturday’s doubleheader set up the rubber match. The Eagles dropped the opener 6-1, but rebounded for their first ACC win of 2014 with a 13-3 pounding of the Yellow Jackets in the nightcap. Freshman infielder and designated hitter Tatiana Cortez homered in the winning effort. D’Argento picked up the win after four strong innings of work in the pitcher’s circle.