Softball Wins Three, Drops One in Houston Hilton Plaza Invitational

Boston College softball escaped the snow blanketing Chestnut Hill this weekend by heading to Houston, Texas, to kick off its 2017 season at the Houston Hilton Plaza Invitational. The Eagles enjoyed a mostly successful weekend in the sun, winning three games and losing just one over the course of the tournament. It was a positive start to the season for BC (3-1).

The final game of the weekend was BC’s only loss and the second time the Eagles faced the tournament’s host, the University of Houston (2-4). After a shaky first half inning, the Cougars bounced back and claimed a 7-3 victory over the Eagles on Sunday afternoon. BC started the scoring off in the first inning. Lexi DiEmmaneuele singled, then stole second. Chloe Sharabba drove her home, ending up on second base. Jules Trevino singled into the outfield several minutes later, sending Sharabba home to complete the early 2-0 lead for the Eagles.

Thanks to Shelby Miller, the lead was not long for the world. In the bottom of the first, with Elise LeBeouf on base, Miller homered down the left field line to tie the game up at two apiece. Houston didn’t stop at just tying the game, however. After holding the Eagles in the top of the second, the Cougars scored twice more in the bottom of the second to take their first lead of the game at 4-2.

In the third inning, the Eagles adjusted by sending Jessica Dreswick to the mound. Dreswick managed to contain the Cougars temporarily, forcing a three-up, three-down. But the fourth inning proved to be the final nail in the coffin for BC’s chances to leave Houston with a perfect record. Dreswick allowed five hits and three runs over the course of the inning, allowing Houston to cushion its lead to 7-2. While Houston would not score again, BC couldn’t muster up any more offense either.

Fortunately for the Eagles, the rest of the weekend yielded more positive results. On Sunday morning, BC recorded a 6-2 victory over the University of California at Santa Barbara. The Gauchos (1-4) never held a lead in that game, with the Eagles jumping out to an early lead and dominating throughout the contest.

Sharabba and Tatiana Cortez each homered in the first inning, building up a 2-0 lead. Although UCSB managed to halve into the deficit in the second inning, the Eagles’ bats were still hot, and Taylor Coroneos scored in the third to cushion the lead once more. But Coroneos wasn’t the only Eagle to cross home plate in the third. With Sharabba and Annie Murphy on base, Jordan Chimento found herself at the plate. She cracked a homer down the left field line, driving in three runs to double the lead.

UCSB could not recover from the hot offense. The Gauchos took advantage of a wild pitch in the sixth inning, plating one more run, but couldn’t challenge the Eagles’ lead.

Saturday saw two successful efforts for the Maroon and Gold. On Saturday evening, the Eagles recorded their only shutout of the tournament with a dominant 11-0 victory over Wright State University (2-3).

DiEmmaneuele started the scoring off. She reached base on an error, then stole second. She then took advantage of a wild pitch to advance to third base. Later in the inning, Murphy grounded out, but DiEmmaneuele managed to safely reach home plate and record the first run of the game.

After that, the offense was fast and furious for BC. In the second, Coroneos drove Halle Hixenbaugh home. Several minutes later, Sharabba hit a two-run homer to center field, doubling the lead. BC struck again in the fourth, when Chimento recorded a sacrifice RBI as Murphy reached home. The fifth inning was especially productive for the Eagles. Throughout the inning, Hixenbaugh, Trevino, DiEmmaneuele, and Brenna Griesser each scored. Still in the fifth, with Sharabba on base, Murphy hit the Eagles’ second homer of the game, pushing the lead up to 11-0, where it would stay for the rest of the game.

Earlier in the day on Saturday, the Eagles kicked off their 2017 campaign and the tournament with a 12-4 victory over Houston. The Cougars struggled to contain Cortez in this game, with the senior posting a perfect 3-for-3 record at the plate, including two home runs.

Once again, the Eagles started off the scoring in the game. Sharabba hit an RBI double, driving DiEmmaneuele home for the first run of the tournament and season. In the second inning, a Houston error allowed Hixenbaugh to reach home. Several minutes later, Sharabba recorded her second RBI of the game when she grounded out, allowing Coroneos to score.

Miller ruined BC’s chances at a shutout in the bottom of the second when she hit a two-run homer to right center field, trimming the deficit to just one run. But Cortez hit a homer of her own in the third inning, cushioning the lead once again.

The rest of the game saw an offensive flurry from BC and contained moments of hot hitting from the Cougars. BC scored seven runs in the final four innings, including a three-run homer from Cortez, and conceded just two more runs for Houston, finishing with a 12-4 lead.

Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor

February 12, 2017