Eagles Win Twice, Cortez Breaks Home Run Record in Pittsburgh Series

Boston College softball enjoyed a mostly successful weekend against the University of Pittsburgh, winning twice and losing one game on Friday and Saturday. The weekend’s big news came in the form of Tatiana Cortez breaking the program’s all-time home run record, previously held by Tory Speer, in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader.

The Eagles (17-12, 4-2 Atlantic Coast) lost the final game of the series, 4-2, after allowing the Panthers (16-13, 1-8) to jump out to an early lead. In the second inning, Jessica Dreswick loaded the bases after one batter was hit by a pitch and two walked. Pittsburgh’s Erin Hershman took advantage of the loaded bases by driving a run in with a single to center field. The Panthers doubled their lead one inning later when Olivia Gray homered to center.

BC fought back, managing to tie the game in the fourth. Cortez reached base with a single, putting Chloe Sharabba at the plate with a runner on base. Sharabba hit a two-run home run to erase Pittsburgh’s lead and put the game on even footing again.

That was all the offense the Eagles could muster. BC didn’t score another run in the game, but the Panthers scored twice more to secure their victory. In the fifth, McKayla Taylor scored an unearned run to win the lead back for Pitt. In the sixth, Marissa DeMatteo, a pinch runner, scored another unearned run thanks to an error, cushioning the Panthers’ lead and setting the final score.

The first game in Saturday’s doubleheader also finished with a 4-2 score, but this time the Eagles emerged on top of the Panthers thanks to a three-run second inning. Cortez got the Eagles started with her record-breaking solo home run. Sharabba then singled, but an error on Pittsburgh’s part allowed her to advance to third on the play. Lexi DiEmmaneuele hit an RBI single, driving Sharabba home and doubling BC’s lead to 2-0. Later, Taylor Coroneos hit a sacrifice RBI to send DiEmmaneuele home and give the Eagles a three-run advantage.

In the third, the Eagles scored their final run of the game. Cortez advanced to first after being hit by a pitch. Pittsburgh pitcher Brittany Knight then walked Sharabba on four straight balls. Allyson Moore failed to reach base, striking out swinging for the second out of the inning. But DiEmmaneuele capitalized on the situation, hitting another single and sending Cortez home to give BC a 4-0 lead.

The Panthers stole a run back in the bottom of the third, breaking BC’s shutout. Jordan Weed walked two straight batters, putting runners on first and second for Pittsburgh. Then Hannah Edwards stepped up to the plate. Four pitches went by, but none were right for her—she fouled twice, watched one strike, and avoided one ball. On the fifth pitch, she connected well, driving the ball to right field for a triple and sending Alexee Haynes safely home. Gray attempted to reach home, too, and halve BC’s lead, but was called out at the plate. The Panthers failed to capitalize on Edwards’ position at third base, and the Eagles escaped the inning without any further damage.

The Panthers scored again in the fifth. Dreswick replaced Weed on the mound and immediately surrendered a double to Haynes. Gray grounded out, but advanced Haynes to third base. Edwards laid down a bunt that Cortez, at third base, mismanaged—her throwing error allowed Edwards to take second and Haynes to reach home. Neither team managed to score again, and the Eagles escaped with the win.

In the first game of the series on Friday, BC fell to an early deficit, but rallied to win 3-2. Gray hit a solo homer off of Dreswick in the first, but Dreswick managed to escape the inning without giving up any more runs. The Panthers scored again in the third to double their lead. Taylor advanced to first after being hit by a pitch. Then Kaitlin Manuel laid down a bunt. Thanks to an error, Manuel reached first and Taylor advanced to third, putting runners on the corners. Valerie Ortega singled, sending Taylor home and giving Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead.

BC refused to give up, tying the game in the fourth. Sharabba and Moore hit successive singles, putting runners on first and second. A passed ball allowed each runner to advance one base. DiEmmaneuele poked a single into center field, sending both Sharabba and Moore home to erase Pittsburgh’s lead.

For the next inning and a half, neither team broke the deadlock. Then the Eagles finally scored again in the sixth to take the lead and, eventually, the win. The inning started out rough for BC—first Jordan Chimento flied out, then Cortez grounded out, putting the Eagles in a two-out hole early in the frame. Then Sharabba singled, stole second, and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Moore walked, and then DiEmmaneuele hit another RBI single, sending Sharabba home to claim the lead for BC.

Featured Image by Haley Cormier / Heights Archive

March 26, 2017