Boston College head softball coach Ashley Obrest has taken some flack for scheduling her team such a difficult non-conference slate to start off 2018. On tonight’s broadcast, it was mentioned that even her father thought she was crazy.
It appears that her strategy has started to pay off. Senior captains Jessica Dreswick and Chloe Sharabba led their team to the signature win BC has been searching for since the start of the season. The Eagles (6-9) took down No. 18 Ole Miss (13-4), 8-2, nearly run-ruling the defending SEC champions in the sixth inning, despite being on the road.
Dreswick pitched her second-consecutive complete game, notching 10 strikeouts while giving up eight hits. Only after she surrendered two runs in the sixth was her bid for back-to-back complete game shutouts spoiled. Sharabba reached base safely in three of her four at-bats, drawing a walk and recording two singles. Each time the senior was on the basepath, she ended up crossing the plate.
With over half the lineup struggling to stay above the .200 mark heading into the game, Tuesday was truly a coming out party for the BC offense. Annie Murphy went 2-for-4, Carly Severini went 2-for-3 with a triple and a sac-fly to drive in three runs, and Cami Sellers went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. The heart of the Eagles’ lineup gave Dreswick, who improved to 5-3 on the season, more than enough insurance. The senior has now recorded 72 strikeouts in her 64 innings of work this season, only walking 24 batters and giving up two home runs in the process.
Fortunately for Dreswick, the bats were giving her support before she even took the mound. In fact, Sharabba, Murphy, and Severini hit three-straight singles to score the game’s first run. Allyson Moore then hit a grounder to third, but the throw home was too late to prevent Murphy from scoring. Lexi DiEmmanuele knocked home Severini on a fielder’s choice, and by the time the side was retired, Dreswick had a three-run cushion.
She didn’t waste it.
The senior was locked in from start to finish, fanning four batters in the first two innings. When all was said and done, Dreswick racked up 120 pitches. Ole Miss’s Anna Borgen wouldn’t come close to matching that mark. Even though the freshman was charged with just one earned run, she was yanked after the first inning of play.
The Rebels’ next two pitchers didn’t fare any better. Morgan Bruce went three innings, letting up four hits and three earned runs—one of which was a byproduct of a DiEmmanuele triple in the third inning.
Brittany Finney replaced Bruce in the fifth inning and only remained in the circle for two frames. She gave up two earned of her own on three hits, most notably conceding a triple to Severini in the sixth that scored Sharabba.
BC was on the brink of getting on the bus to go to Mississippi State an inning early, leading, 8-0. The Ole Miss bats finally woke up in the bottom half of the inning, and Dreswick looked mortal for the first time all night. After retiring the first two batters of the inning, the Eagles’ ace walked Amanda Roth, conceded a Kaylee Horton single, and threw a wild pitch that moved runners into scoring position. Bry Castro pinch hit for the Rebels and capped off the rally with a bloop single that just squirted over the head of Sharabba to score Ole Miss’s only two runs of the night.
The Rebels threatened again in the seventh, though. Dreswick struggled with the top of the Rebels’ order, loading the bases without sitting a single Ole Miss batter, but the senior promptly returned to form. She forced a shallow pop up for the first out of the final inning, then struck out Alex Schneider, and finally forced a pop up into foul territory that Sellers collected for the final out, sealing the upset.
Obrest’s scheduling gamble has paid off. BC now has a signature win that will help its RPI numbers when playoff time comes around, and the Eagles have evidence that they can beat a marquee opponent. As ACC play approaches, BC is beginning to build the momentum it needs to turn heads during conference play.
Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Senior Staff