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SOFTBALL: BC Defeats Valpo But Loses To The Wolverines

For The Heights

Published: Monday, February 17, 2014

Updated: Monday, February 17, 2014 04:02

Unable to stop an explosive Michigan lineup’s rally, the Boston College softball team lost its final game in the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun Invitational, 6-5.

Through the first five innings of the contest against Michigan, BC seemed unstoppable, largely because of the dominant pitching of Nicole D’Argento. In this span, the BC captain kept the opposing Michigan players hitless and yielded only one walk. She gave her team the early edge by working craftily, striking out four batters through the first five innings, and five batters total—a far cry from the 11 Valparaiso players she fanned this past Saturday. Even so, early in the game, D’Argento exhibited a tenacity comparable to that which she showed in BC’s 6-0 win over Valparaiso: a one-hitter.

Decent hitting and base running complemented D’Argento’s pitching performance. In the second inning, freshman third baseman Tatiana Cortez belted her first collegiate homerun, launching the ball beyond the centerfield fence. The hit was a two-run shot, as freshman first baseman Jordan Weed scored from first and gave BC its first lead, 2-0.

In the fifth inning, sophomore second baseman Alana Dimaso scored by way of an RBI groundout from D’Argento, and sophomore outfielder Megan Cooley—acting on the opportunity presented by a wild pitch from Michigan’s Sara Driesenga—was able to dart home, making the score 4-0.

With two frames remaining, victory seemed within BC’s grasp. In the last innings, though, Michigan altered the game’s narrative, rallying to seize the final lead.

Great hitting sparked the comeback, as Michigan’s lineup—which had scored 22 runs off 22 hits in the team’s last two games—began making solid contact. Costly errors on the part of BC further aided Michigan.

In the sixth inning, with one out remaining, center fielder Lyndsay Doyle, right fielder Nicole Sappingfield, and shortstop Sierra Romero notched three consecutive hits, loading the bases. And cleanup hitter Caitlin Blanchard rocketed a single to score two of them.

In the seventh inning, back-to-back singles from Michigan’s Haylie Wagner and Taylor Hasselbach, and an error—which let Lauren Sweet reach base—loaded the bases. With one out remaining, once again, Sappingfield drew a walk, plating Wagner and reducing BC’s lead to a single run. With the bases still loaded, the next batter, Romero, hit a single. The runners were set in motion by the knock, and a throwing error effectively cost BC the lead, as Michigan cleared the bases, gaining a 6-4 lead.

After Michigan mounted its comeback, BC attempted to make one of its own. In the seventh inning, after Michigan’s reliever Megan Betsa pitched a no-hit sixth inning, the BC team loaded the bases: Sophomore shortstop Jessie Daulton reached on a fielder’s choice, and D’Argento and catcher Tory Speer both were walked. BC was able to score only one run, though, as Wagner—who came in as relief—and a returning Driesenga, combined to quash the team’s last-ditch bid.

The 6-5 defeat, which was preceded by victories over Central Arkansas and Valparaiso and two losses to Memphis, was BC’s third of both the season and tournament. Leaving the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun Invitational, as well as Louisiana, the problems faced by BC in this past game—primarily the errors—have dropped the Eagles beneath the hallowed mark of .500.

 

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