For much of the evening, it seemed that Boston College softball had a great chance of taking down Louisville to kick off the weekend series. The Eagles led, 2-0, after five innings of play and had stymied a Cardinals squad that came into Friday night’s contest with a .283 batting average, good for fifth in the ACC.
Things would soon fall apart for BC, though. In the sixth inning, Louisville’s bats came alive, as the team drove in five runs and followed up that explosion by tacking on four more runs in the seventh inning. Meanwhile, the Eagles failed to respond, as they ended the evening on the wrong side of a 9-2 decision.
The opening inning passed by without much incident. Susannah Anderson operated as the starting pitcher, and she only gave up a single hit in the first inning. During the bottom of the frame, Ellie Mataya reached first base on an error, but BC (13-24, 3-10 Atlantic Coast) came up empty as Emme Martinez grounded into a double play.
After Louisville (26-14, 7-6) left another runner stranded in the second inning, BC struck first. Following an Allyson Moore groundout, Cardinals pitcher Taylor Roby, who came into this contest with an impressive 8-1 record, gave up back-to-back walks to Gianna Boccagno and Gianna Randazza. Jenna Ergle then came up with the Eagles’ first hit—a single to right field, which drove in Boccagno.
Neither team notched a hit in the third, but BC would score in similar fashion as it did earlier—this time in the fourth inning. Roby again walked Boccagno, and Jules Trevino pinch ran for the freshman, advancing to second base off a Randazza bunt. Ergle came up to bat and proceeded to whip a single to center field, sending Trevino home. That RBI gave the Eagles what would amount to be their second and final run of the game.
A quiet fifth inning would ensue in which neither team scored, setting up the fateful sixth inning. Up to this point, Anderson had excelled. The freshman had only given up two hits to a strong Cardinals side, but she began to unravel. The inning started out well, as Anderson saw Sidney Melton ground out to shortstop. Anderson then lost control, though, as she hit two straight batters with pitches. She didn’t help her cause either, committing an error that loaded the bases with only a single out recorded.
Louisville’s Caitlin Ferguson kicked off the scoring outburst with a single to right field, and Kyra Snyder followed up with a single of her own, which knotted the contest. Cassady Greenwood logged Louisville’s third straight single, allowing it to take the lead. It didn’t end there, though, as Maddy Newman hit a single into right field, driving in both Snyder and Ferguson. Head coach Ashley Obrest had seen enough, as she switched out Anderson for fellow freshman Camryn Dolby, who stopped the bleeding by recording two outs to end the inning.
Moore and Randazza would walk in the bottom of the sixth, but the Eagles left both runners on base. The Cardinals continued to score, as Dolby encountered trouble. Dolby, who struck out 11 batters in a shutout win over Fairfield on Wednesday, could not find similar success against Louisville. While she started the inning with a strikeout, Dolby quickly put two runners on base after hitting Roby with a pitch and walking Rebecca Chung. A Ferguson popup resulted in two outs, but Dolby failed to find the third out. She proceeded to give up a single to Snyder, which loaded the bases. Charley Butler then came up to bat, and she launched a bases-clearing double, extending Louisville’s lead to six runs. Newman then ripped a double of her own, which drove in the Cardinals’ ninth and final run.
C.C. Cook subbed in for Dolby, and she recorded the last out for the Eagles. But, at this stage, the damage had already been done. BC’s offense only had two hits to its name—Ergle’s two RBI singles—and it could not muster up a rally in the bottom of the seventh inning. In fact, Roby put the finishing touches on her complete game, as she ended the contest with a 1-2-3 inning.
As it stands right now, the Eagles are struggling in every major category. A .246 team batting average ranks ninth in the ACC, a 4.69 ERA is fourth-worst, and BC’s 69 errors are 12 more than the next closest team. This has translated into a 13-24 overall record and a measly three conference wins.
Entering this season, the Eagles had recorded three straight seasons with 30 or more victories. It appears that the loss of Jessica Dreswick and Allyson Frei in the circle, as well as the departure of bats in Jordan Chimento, Annie Murphy, and Chloe Sharabba have proven too much for BC to overcome. As the year drags on, it has become evident that the Eagles have fallen in the hierarchy of the ACC and that their streak of 30-win seasons will likely come to an end.
Featured Image by Delaney Vorwick / For The Heights