Pitching for Boston College softball has been one of its consistent strengths all season. Coming into its weekend series against North Carolina State, sophomore Allyson Frei ranked fourth in the Atlantic Coast Conference in strikeouts with 139, and eighth in the conference in opponent’s batting average at .230. Sophomore Jessica Dreswick ranked sixth in the conference in ERA at 2.22. Those two have shouldered the bulk of the innings for the Eagles so far, and while the BC season has been up and down, you can always expect Dreswick and Frei to give a quality outing.
Sometimes, that quality outing ends up being something special. Throughout the whole season Dreswick has been confusing batters and making them look silly through her repertoire of pitches, but she herself had been eluded by a goal that every pitcher hopes to accomplish. That is, until Saturday, when Dreswick pitched the first no-hitter in conference play in BC (24-20, 7-8 Atlantic Coast) history against NC State (21-29, 4-14), the highlight of the Eagles’ weekend sweep of the Wolfpack.
The Wolfpack did manage to get five baserunners against Dreswick off walks, but she was not flustered and shut down any opportunity that NC State managed to muster. She kept the Wolfpack batters off balance with an impressive mix of speed and location, and the Eagles played an errorless defense to back up the best pitching performance of the season.
The Eagles finished the sweep on Sunday, beating NC State 5-2 behind another impressive pitching performance from Frei. Eight out of the nine BC starters recorded hits, and the Eagles exploded for four runs in the top of the second after falling behind early 2-0. Freshman Danielle Thomas walked to force in the first run for BC, and Loren DiEmmanuele and Allyson Moore followed across the plate on a throwing error. Thomas then scored on a groundout from Murphy. This was all Frei needed, as she kept the Wolfpack scoreless for the remaining six innings. Junior Taylor Coroneos scored an insurance run on a wild pitch for the fifth run of the game.
While the story of the day on Saturday was Dreswick’s no-hitter, Frei also came in clutch in the second game of the doubleheader. Dreswick started the second game, but the Wolfpack appeared to figure her out early, scoring two quick runs. Frei came in and tossed 6 2/3 innings of scoreless and hitless relief. The Wolfpack only had two hits over the doubleheader, as BC pitching was dominant for all 14 innings.
The offense took a while to get going during game two on Saturday, but scored three runs in the fifth inning, starting with a home run from Jessie Daulton to left-center field. Moore and DiEmmanuele followed with RBI singles that scored Tatiana Cortez and Chloe Sharabba respectively. The Eagles added a fourth run in the top of the seventh on a Cortez home run. Daulton went 6-8 with a home run, a triple, five RBIs, and four runs scored throughout the day, and Cortez went 4-7 with a home run, three RBIs, and two runs scored.
In game one on Saturday, the Eagles broke through in the top of the fifth after four innings of scoreless softball from both teams. Daulton ripped a single to left center that scored DiEmmanuele, followed by Cortez, who drew a bases-loaded walk that forced Thomas home. Sharabba knocked in Daulton on a line-drive single to left-center field. Cortez homered in the top of the seventh to make it 4-0, more than enough for Dreswick.
On Thursday, BC faced off against a tough UMass softball team, and were unable to come up with a win. Errors were the deciding factor, as the Eagles made a key error in the fifth inning that allowed the Minutewomen to go ahead for good.
UMass struck first powered by a two-run home run from outfielder Tara Klee off starter Jordan Weed in the bottom of the first inning. The Eagles were held scoreless for the first three innings, but fought back to tie the game in the fourth. Cortez hit a leadoff double, and was then singled in by Jordan Chimento. DiEmmanuele pinch ran for Chimento and later scored on a single by Moore.
The Minutewomen scored again in the fifth inning to take the lead back. Jena Cozza led off with a walk, and was followed by a single to left field from Taylor Carbone. BC rightfielder Murphy misplayed the ball, which allowed Cozza to score the go-ahead run from first. UMass scored again in the bottom of the sixth, and the Eagles were unable to capitalize despite out-hitting the Minutewomen nine to seven.
The Eagles’ dominant pitching performance this past weekend against a solid NC State team will hopefully lend even more momentum to them as they enter their last games of the season and the ACC Tournament. It will be hard to bet against them if Frei and Dreswick continue pitching like they have been.
Featured Image by Taylor Perison / Heights Staff