In Doubleheader, Eagles Walk Off Against Syracuse Twice

Twice on Sunday afternoon, Boston College softball found itself staring at a one-run deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning. Twice, hitters stepped up to make clutch plays and force extra innings. And twice, the Eagles managed to top Syracuse University with walk-off victories, extending their win streak to three games in a row and sweeping the Orange in the two-game series after Saturday’s game was snowed out.

BC (20-12, 6-2 Atlantic Coast) struggled offensively against Syracuse (17-11, 3-5) pitcher Alexa Romero for much of the second game in the doubleheader on Sunday afternoon, but still managed to top the Orange for a 2-1 victory.

Both teams played tough defense, but the Eagles surrendered a run in the second inning. Jordan Weed started the inning by walking Bryce Holmgren on four straight pitches. Holmgren advanced to second on a Faith Cain single, then took third on a passed ball. Kelsey Johnson singled to left field, driving Holmgren home and giving the Orange an early 1-0 lead.

Meanwhile, Romero almost completely stifled BC through the first six innings of the game. The Eagles didn’t record a hit until the bottom of the fourth, struggling to connect with Romero’s pitches in the early innings until Annie Murphy finally singled in the fourth. Murphy reached second on a groundout from Jordan Chimento and then took third as Tatiana Cortez reached first thanks to an error. With a runner in scoring position and just one out, it looked as though BC would tie the game up—but it was not to be. Cortez was thrown out at second while attempting to steal, and then Allyson Moore grounded out to end the inning.

Romero only conceded one more hit over the next two innings. Lexi DiEmmaneuele singled in the bottom of the fifth, but Syracuse managed to get out of the inning without any real damage. Romero’s luck ran out, however, in the seventh, as the Eagles tied up the game and forced extra innings.

Chloe Sharabba was the first batter for the Eagles in the seventh. She watched two pitches sail by her—both of them balls. But she liked the third pitch, and connected well. Sharabba drove the ball to center field for a homer, tying the game up at one apiece. BC failed to score again in the inning, sending the game into extras.

For a few minutes in the eighth, things looked dicey for the Eagles. Dreswick, who replaced Weed on the mound earlier in the game, started by hitting Alicia Hansen with a pitch, giving the Orange a baserunner right away. Up next, Sydney O’Hara singled and Hansen advanced to second. Holmgren popped out and the runners remained stationary, but then Cain grounded out and Hansen and O’Hara advanced to third and second, respectively, putting two runners in scoring position.

Dreswick escaped the jam, however, with a strikeout, leaving two runners stranded on base and preserving the tie as the Eagles took their turn at the plate.

Dani Thomas laid down a bunt and reached first, starting out the bottom of the eighth on a high note for BC. Taylor Coroneos grounded out, but Thomas advanced to second, then stole third. A passed ball offered the perfect opportunity to advance home for the game-winning run, and Thomas wasted no time in doing just that. With the run, she gave BC its second victory of the day.

Earlier on Sunday, the Eagles also rallied from behind to earn a 2-1 walk-off victory. Dreswick pitched the entire eight innings for BC in the first game, while Syracuse put O’Hara and AnnaMarie Gatti on the mound.

Unlike in the second game, the Eagles recorded hits early. Just like the second game, however, they couldn’t capitalize on anything until late in play. Coroneos and Murphy set the tone with two singles in a row, but their teammates failed to send them home, stranding the two on base heading into the second.

The Orange took the lead in the third thanks to a couple of errors. Dreswick walked Hannah Dossett to put a runner on base. Chimento, playing catcher, made an error that allowed Olivia Martinez to reach first and Dossett to advance all the way to third. Next up at the plate, Toni Martin hit into a fielder’s choice—Martinez was caught out at second, but Dossett safely reached home, and another error from Chimento allowed Martin to advance to second on the play.

Syracuse held onto its 1-0 lead for the next three and a half innings. During that span, the Eagles stranded four runners on base, but also played tough defense, denying the Orange any more runs. The scoreless streak would come to an end in the bottom of the seventh, as more late-game heroics sent it into extras.

With one out, Brenna Griesser poked the ball through a defense gap to her left, reaching base on a single. Thomas laid down a sacrifice bunt, allowing Griesser to advance safely to second. With two outs, Griesser stood on second and Coroneos stepped up to the plate. Coroneos doubled to center, driving Griesser home and tying the score at 1-1.

Dreswick dominated the top of the eighth, completely shutting the Orange down. She forced two groundouts and one fly-out, giving BC its chance to win the game.

The bottom of the eighth was rough at times, but ultimately resulted in the Eagles’ first walk-off victory over the day. Chimento, first up, worked a full count, but ultimately popped out to third. Cortez then walked, putting a runner on base for the Eagles. Sharabba doubled, but Cortez attempted to round third and reach home safely. She was thrown out at home, giving the Eagles two outs. Sharabba took third as the Orange gunned for Cortez at home.

In the end, Cortez being thrown out didn’t matter. Moore took a leaf out of Sharabba’s book, doubling to center field and driving Sharabba home, giving the Eagles a 2-1 victory over the Orange.

Featured Image by Shaan Bijwadia / Heights Staff

April 2, 2017

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