Although Boston College softball is no stranger to double-headers—having already played three in its first 10 games—its weekend at the FIU Classic proved to be the biggest endurance test the Eagles have faced all season. BC played five games—two of which went to extra innings—over the course of just three days. The Eagles went 2-3, with a pair of their losses coming to FIU in 14- and 11-inning marathons, respectively.
On Sunday afternoon, BC was able to notch its fifth win of the season against Central Connecticut State, 1-0. The Eagles (5-9) scraped together the only run of the game without recording a single hit in the inning. In the third, Gianna Randazza first reached base after getting hit by a pitch that got away from Blue Devils starter Emily Sargent. She then advanced on a sacrifice bunt from Jordan Chimento and scored on a Lexi DiEmmanuele sacrifice fly.
BC pitcher Jessica Dreswick did the rest on her own, tying a career-high in strikeouts with 11 in a complete game shutout effort.
In the three games prior, losses to FIU (9-7) on Friday and Saturday night sandwiched an 8-0 shutout win over Siena College (0-4).
Against Siena, it was Dreswick doing most of the work on the mound again, striking out six Saints over five innings before being relieved by C.C. Cook. The two combined for the Eagles’ third shutout of the season.
Most of the damage done offensively for BC came in the fourth inning. After being held scoreless through the first half of the game, the Eagles broke out of their drought with RBI singles from Cook and Randazza. A throwing error from Siena catcher Amanda Dodson that went well wide of third base brought in two more runs. A three-run home run by Cook the very next inning more than put the game out of reach.
The two losses to the tournament’s host FIU, however, were heartbreaking.
On Friday night, the Eagles and pitcher Allyson Frei were stretched to 11 innings against the Panthers. BC’s only run of the game came from Chloe Sharabba on a fielder’s choice in the ninth inning, but FIU’s Michaela Mills was able to tie it up in the bottom half with an RBI single to extend the game. In the 11th, it was Mills again, who lined a single up the middle to score Jessica Rivera for the 2-1 walk-off win.
The next night, BC was outlasted once again, this time falling, 1-0, in a grueling 14 innings. Frei held the Panthers scoreless until two outs in the 14th, throwing a mind-blowing 223 pitches. The senior showed great poise throughout the four-hour game, getting out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the fifth. She looked close to getting out of another knot in the 14th, recording a strikeout and a groundout after loading the bases, but couldn’t pull the escape act again. With two outs, Frei threw the unthinkable: a walk-off hit by pitch. The result was devastating for the Eagles, who failed to make the most of their opportunities all day, leaving 12 on base over the course of the game.
Frei allowed just three runs against FIU over the course of 24.1 innings. She may have gone 0-2 over the weekend, but finished the trip with a combined earned run average of just 1.66 in the three games she appeared in.
The first game of the weekend series, a 9-5 loss at the hands of Michigan State, was dictated by Frei’s struggles. She allowed three insurance runs in a single relief inning against the Spartans (5-6), putting the Eagles down four with just an inning to play. Although the team had scored three times in the fifth, the boost wasn’t enough to keep MSU within striking distance to open the weekend with a win. BC wasn’t able to capitalize on a three-hit game from Emme Martinez, who doubled twice but never crossed the plate.
The two-win weekend has to feel disappointing for the Eagles, who were left empty-handed in a pair of competitive, lengthy games against an FIU team that received preseason votes in the top 25 poll. Wins against Siena and Central Connecticut were somewhat expected, so three losses in bigger games against more competitive teams are indicative that the Eagles still have work to do before conference play starts next month.
Featured Image by Kaitlin Meeks / Heights Editor