This past weekend, Allyson Frei shut down No. 10 Florida State—a team that had won 37 of its past 38 ACC games and hadn’t lost to Boston College softball since 2008—not only recording eight strikeouts, but also allowing just two hits over the course of her fourth shutout of the year. The redshirt junior single-handedly delivered the Eagles their biggest win of the season, extending the program’s historic 13-game win streak. But on Wednesday evening, it was Jessica Dreswick’s time to shine.
Having dropped the final two games of its series with the Seminoles, BC found itself in dire need of a victory in order to keep pace with Notre Dame and FSU at the top of the Atlantic Division standings. Naturally, Dreswick—the only Eagle to ever pitch a perfect game in school history and throw a no-hitter in ACC play—came through. Fanning nine Massachusetts batters, the right-hander tossed another a gem—a 5-0 shutout—logging her 55th career victory, a mark that ties Alexis Beckman, BC ’97, for the most wins in program history.
Just like the teams’ previous meeting, the Eagles struck first, offering Dreswick more insurance than she’d ever need. With one out in the opening frame, Annie Murphy ripped a double into the right-center gap. Building momentum, Emme Martinez reached on a Minutewomen error, thereby advancing Murphy to third. C.C. Cook had runners on the corners, and she made the most of the opportunity: The freshman lasered another two-bagger down the right field line, scoring Murphy for the first run of the game. Lexi DiEmmanuele—the ensuing batter—laid down a perfect bunt, giving Cook plenty of time to cross the plate and herself a few extra seconds to beat the throw to first.
In the bottom of the inning, Dreswick made quick work of UMass, stringing together the first of her many one-two-three frames. The immediate turnaround allowed the Eagles’ lineup to pick up right where it left off in the first. Cami Sellers and Chloe Sharabba recorded a pair of singles on either side of an Olivia Markopoulos strikeout. Moments later, Murphy stepped up to bat and hit her second double of the day—this time through the left side—pushing Sharabba to third and Sellers across the plate. In doing so, the senior chased Minutewomen ace Kiara Oliver. The pitching change didn’t exactly work, though. Soon after Meg Colleran took the circle, she gave up BC’s fourth run of the game, courtesy of a Martinez ground ball to shortstop.
Following the Eagles’ second-consecutive scoring spurt, Dreswick resumed her dominant performance, punching out three of the next six batters she faced, conceding just one hit in the process. The run support just kept on coming too.
Already up 4-0, BC tacked on one final run in the fourth frame. All it took was one swing of the bat—Sharabba cleared the left field fence, blasting her team-leading sixth home run of the year. The soloshot was somewhat of a rarity, considering that the Eagles have hit the third-fewest long balls in the ACC throughout the 2018 campaign. Nonetheless, the dinger essentially served as the nail in the coffin for a UMass team that couldn’t seem to get on the board.
That’s not to say that the Minutewomen didn’t threaten. In fact, UMass stranded a combined five runners in the next two frames and logged five of its seven hits in the final three innings of the game. Still, with their back against the wall, the Eagles buckled down and preserved the shutout.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Riley Gregoire singled up the middle with two men on, only to watch Kaitlyn Stavinoha get thrown out at the plate. In a similar fashion, the Minutewomen used a pair of singles and a walk to load the bases in the sixth—but when Madison Gimpl grounded to shortstop, Sharabba went home for the tag. Dreswick proceeded to strike out Amy Smith to escaped the jam. The senior tacked on two more Ks in the final frame to finish off the season sweep.
With the victory, BC moves to 6-38 all-time against UMass. It’s apparent that the Eagles have flipped the script this season, blowing out the Minutewomen—the best team in the A-10—by a combined 8-0 in the two-game set. That alone goes to show just how BC, winners of 14 of its last 16, is a different team from years past.
Featured Image by Kaitlin Meeks / Heights Editor