BC’s Inconsistent Start Continues at Madeira Beach Tournament

Continuing an early-season run of weekend tournaments, Boston College softball once again left Massachusetts to play five games at the Madeira Beach tournament in Florida. And much like previous weekends, the Eagles were inconsistent, dropping games to St. John’s, Penn State, and Georgia Southern, while managing to nab wins against Central Michigan and Tennessee Chattanooga. Starting pitching continued to be up and down, but BC’s bats did manage to manufacture some more runs—after scoring more than three runs just three times in the first 10 games, the Eagles hit the four-run mark four times over the weekend.

BC 9, Tennessee-Chattanooga 6 (Sun.)

The weekend finale saw a wild back-and-forth contest that was ultimately decided by BC’s four-run outburst in the top of the seventh inning. Celie Hudson got the start for the Mocs (14-3), but it didn’t take long for the Eagles’ bats to find success against the right-hander. Maddison Hamilton got the rally started with a single to right field before Gianna Randazza walked, and Carlie Sanders laced a single down the right field line to load the bases for Lexi DiEmmanuele. The senior fell behind in the count, 1-2, but showed patience to draw a walk for the opening run of the game. A fielding error from Halie Williamson allowed another run to score, before Emme Martinez drove in BC’s third run of the frame with a sacrifice fly to left field.

Susannah Anderson got the starting nod for the Eagles, but also had her fair share of struggles, allowing a run in the second inning and walking two batters and hitting another in the third inning. Those mistakes came back to bite, as back-to-back singles by Williamson and Amanda Beltran combined with a throwing error from DiEmmanuele capped off a three-run third inning that also resulted in the end of Anderson’s outing after just 2.2 frames. Camryn Dolby came on in relief and would work the rest of the game, allowing just two runs on four hits in 4.1 innings and giving the Eagles’ bats a chance to wake up late.

DiEmmanuele—who finished the game 2-for-3 with four runs batted in—led off the sixth inning with a home run to left field to give BC a 5-4 lead, then came up with the biggest hit of the game, sending a triple into the gap to drive in Sanders and Jules Trevino for what proved to be the winning runs of the game. The Eagles added one more run on an infield hit from Martinez, and Dolby made the 9-5 lead stand, allowing just a home run from Williamson to close out the win for BC.

Georgia Southern 9, BC 4 (Sat.)

The Eagles’ offense wasn’t quite as potent in the Saturday finale against Georgia Southern, thanks in large part to good pitching performances from Ashleigh Morton and Jess Mazur. Morton started, striking out two in four innings while conceding four hits and four runs, before Mazur entered and completely shut down BC’s bats, giving up just one hit in the final three innings.

On the other side, Anderson didn’t fare as well. She got two quick outs in the first inning, but Logan Harrell hit a long home run on a 1-2 count to right center, and that opened the floodgates for GSU hitters. Ellington Day drove in a run in the second inning with a double before swiping home as a part of a double steal. Dolby entered the game for damage control, but promptly gave up a two-run shot to Mehkia Freeman to put BC in a 5-0 hole.

Sanders responded with a home run of her own to left field to lead off the third frame, and RBI singles from Randazza and DiEmmanuele drew the Eagles within one, but they would get nothing more, courtesy of Mazur’s pitching. Meanwhile, Georgia Southern tacked on four more runs in the fifth for the final runs of the game, capped by Hannah Farrell crossing home plate after a wild pitch. All told, the Eagles managed just five hits, and no batter had more than one.

BC 8, Central Michigan 4 (Sat.)

DiEmmanuele was once again a catalyst against the Chippewas, leading the game off with a single before stealing second and scoring off an RBI bunt single from Ellie Mataya. BC would tack on another run in the second inning with a base hit from Randazza before Central Michigan fought back. The Chippewas nabbed two runs in the third inning after a throwing error from Anderson—who started again—and then took a 4-3 lead in the fourth after Allison Curtis swiped home.

Dolby—who took over in relief just before Curtis’ steal and earned the win—was nevertheless solid, totaling two strikeouts and allowing two runs in two innings. DiEmmanuele helped her out with a one-out single in the fourth inning, then stole second to move into scoring position before a groundout and wild pitch brought her home to tie the game at four. BC didn’t wait long to take the lead, though, as Jenna Ergle—who was an unblemished 4-for-4 for the game—uncorked a bomb to left center to begin the fifth before DiEmmanuele came up clutch with a ground ball single through the right side to give the Eagles insurance.

A bases-loaded walk from Sanders and catchers interference gave BC its final two runs of the game, but the Eagles wouldn’t need it, as Kendra Friedt and C.C. Cook combined for 2.2 innings of shutout work to finish the game and give BC its first win of the weekend. DiEmmanuele’s two steals, which brought her career total up to 87, also broke Megan Cooley’s school record of 86.

Penn State 5, BC 4 (Fri.)

The Eagles once again got off to a hot start in the second game of the weekend against the Nittany Lions, as Sanders’ RBI single gave BC a 2-0 lead in the second inning before Gianna Boccagno drilled her team-high fourth home run of the season over the fence to give the Eagles a 4-0 lead after three innings.

Things started to unravel in the bottom of the frame, as Haley Vallejos plated two runs with a single into right field. But, it wasn’t until the sixth inning that Penn State was able to complete its comeback. Anderson relieved Dolby, who gave up just two runs on five hits in 3.2 innings, and worked the fourth and fifth innings without incident, but couldn’t repeat the feat in the sixth. An error by Hamilton put Amanda Grieco on base to start the inning, and a single and error allowed her to score to cut the BC lead to 4-3.

Anderson—who took the loss—induced a groundout for the first out of the inning, but Tori Dubois came up clutch with a two-run double into the the gap in left field. Madison Shaffer, who earned the win for the Nittany Lions by working the final three innings without allowing a hit, worked around an error that put Mataya on base to close the game.

St. Johns 6, BC 3 (Fri.)

Boccagno also homered in the first game of the weekend against the Red Storm, knotting the game up at 1-1 after two innings with a drive to right field. Unfortunately for the Eagles, they fell victim to a masterful performance in the circle from Madison Morris—who pitched all seven innings for St. Johns and struck out seven batters—and a terrible fourth inning.

With the score still tied at one, Anderson to begin her fourth inning of work and promptly walked Amelia Ditolvo before hitting Gabriella Conca with a pitch to put two runners on base with one out. A single from Gretchen Bowie put the Red Storm on top, before a bases-loaded double from Christina Melendez added three more runs to give St. Johns an insurmountable 5-1 lead.

Cook relieved Anderson and pitched 1.1 innings, allowing only a home run to Marissa Rizzi, and Dolby worked a hitless final two innings, striking out four in the process. Martinez cut into the deficit with a two-run home run in the sixth inning, but it wasn’t enough as the Eagles dropped the first game of the weekend. DiEmmanuele was 3-for-4 in defeat, while Hamilton also tacked on a pair of hits for BC.

Photo Courtesy of Boston College Athletics

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About Peter Kim 195 Articles
Peter Kim is the assistant sports editor of The Heights. He’s from Seattle, will die happy if the Mariners make the playoffs once in his lifetime, and still refuses to watch any of Super Bowl XLIV. Follow him on twitter @PeterKim_4