Previewing 2018 Softball: North Carolina State

boston college softball

Winners of an impressive seven in a row, Boston College softball is heading to Raleigh to take on North Carolina State in an important conference series. The Wolfpack (20-16, 4-7 Atlantic Coast) impressed during non-conference play, but now sits at the bottom of the Atlantic Division standings and is looking to make up ground on the Eagles (16-15, 5-3)—who are easily playing their best softball of the season.

Who is BC playing?

North Carolina State

When is BC playing?

Friday, April 6, 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 7, 12 p.m.

Where is BC playing?

Dail Softball Stadium, Raleigh, N.C.

How to Watch:

All three games will be available to stream on WatchESPN.

By the Numbers:

BC:

1) The Eagles have leaned on both the offense and defense at times during their winning streak—one that features a trio of shutouts alongside three run-rule victories, including the last two games against Providence and Syracuse.

2) BC has showcased its speed in the early going, ranking near the top of the conference in triples (nine) and stolen bases (30). The player to watch in that department is Lexi DiEmmanuele, who’s 13-for-16 on stolen bases and has three triples—both tops on the team.

3) Much has been said about the Eagles’ pitching proficiency, and for good reason. Jessica Dreswick and Allyson Frei have combined to hurl 211.1 of BC’s 212.1 innings, guiding BC to the second-best ERA in the ACC—just behind national powerhouse Florida State.

N.C. State:

1) The Wolfpack defense has excelled in supporting its pitching staff, turning the most double plays in the ACC while also placing second in fielding percentage (.971).

2) N.C. State is a very well-balanced team, ranking seventh in the ACC in both average (.268) and earned run average (2.78). Both marks are firmly in the middle of the conference leaderboard.

3) The player to keep an eye on is Haylee Kobziak, who leads the way with a .357/.441/.571 slash line since making her way off the bench and into the starting lineup. Kobziak’s average is the highest on the team by over 40 points.

Outlook:

The Eagles have won five conference games in a row, and outside of FSU—winners of 19 straight—they’re the hottest team in the conference. BC has a good chance to go into Raleigh and sweep the Wolfpack, which would not only push the streak into double digits, but would also quickly propel it to second in the Atlantic. Yes, these are  pure hypotheticals, and North Carolina has been difficult for the Eagles in years past, going 6-13 there—but it’s very possible. All three facets of the game have been clicking for BC, as the lineup is hitting over .300 during the streak, Frei & Dreswick are peaking, and the defense has been almost perfect. There’s plenty of optimism around the program’s chances to make a run, and the recent play has justified it.

Featured Image by Celine Lim / Heights Staff

About Bradley Smart 156 Articles
Bradley is the associate sports editor for The Heights. He believes that America does truly run on Dunkin, March is the best month, baseball teams should always wear stirrups, and being down 3-1, in anything, is never cause for concern. You can follow him on Twitter @bradleysmart15.