Spring, Softball

Errors, Comebacks Haunt BC in Winless Aggie Classic

After dropping the first four games of the Aggie Classic, Boston College softball looked forward to the opportunity to get into the win column in its tournament-concluding game against Texas Tech on Sunday morning. It had taken two extra frames for Texas Tech to defeat BC in the tournament opener on Friday, and BC was set to come out with intensity as it sought to finish the weekend on a high note. Much like the Eagles’ results in the first four games, a victory was simply not meant to be.

Unusually frigid conditions in College Station, Texas forced the cancellation of BC’s final game.

It was an unfortunate end to a forgettable opening weekend for head coach Ashley Obrest’s team—one that warranted lofty expectations after last year’s successful campaign. Senior pitcher Allyson Frei returned from an injury that sidelined her last season to take the loss in each of the first four games. Chloe Sharabba was the lone bright spot for the Eagles, going 7-for-11 at the plate with six runs and six walks, as eight team errors led to seven unearned runs allowed in just four games.

Despite the struggles, the Eagles (0-4) were just a few breaks away from going 3-1 in Texas against outstanding competition.

BC opened its season Friday morning against Texas Tech and, despite taking a two-run lead into the final frame, faltered in extra innings. With a runner placed on second to begin the ninth inning (per NCAA extra innings rules), Kelcy Leach led off with a two-run home run to give the Red Raiders (1-3) a 4-2 win. The Eagles threatened in the bottom of the ninth, but a costly double play handed them the defeat.

The first three innings were scoreless, as Jessica Dreswick struck out five, stranding four Red Raider baserunners. The chances were few and far between for BC early, but it struck first blood in the bottom of the fourth, plating two with RBIs from Jordan Chimento and Emme Martinez. Dreswick polished off her gem, going six innings, allowing three hits and zero runs, while striking out six. BC took its 2-0 lead into the final frame where Frei came on for the save opportunity. She immediately hit the first batter and walked the second, setting the stage for a two-run double from Michaela Cochran to even the score.

In extra innings, the eighth went scoreless, but Texas Tech capitalized in the ninth.

BC played its second game on Friday against No. 6 Texas A&M (4-0). The Eagles hung with the highly ranked tournament hosts all game, but once again, their lack of offensive production doomed them. After remaining tied for much of the game, BC fell behind by two runs in the fifth, a deficit that proved too much to overcome in the eventual 3-1 loss.

The Aggies opened the scoring in the bottom of the first, despite not recording a hit. Keeli Milligan drew a leadoff walk, stole second and third base, and scored on an error. BC evened the contest in the top of the second, also without the benefit of a hit. Carly Severini walked, advanced to second on a wild pitch, then scored on a reciprocal defensive miscue from the Aggies.

Frei, starting her first game, settled in after working through control issues in the first, recording three subsequent scoreless frames. However, the Aggies broke through again in the fifth, with back-to-back RBI hits from Kaitlyn Alderink and Tori Vidales that would eventually be enough for the win.

BC returned on Saturday for another doubleheader, losing both games in very different manners. The first was in dramatic fashion against Houston (3-1), as the Cougars walked off in the bottom of the seventh on an error in center field, a heartbreaking way for BC to lose its third game in a row, 5-4.

The Eagles erupted in the first inning of this contest, stringing together four hits, more than they had in each of Friday’s games. Eight batters came to the plate, as BC put up three runs, benefiting from RBIs from Annie Murphy and Severini.

The early three-run lead seemed like it would hold up, as Dreswick looked like she was in the zone until the later innings. Houston chipped away at its deficit by scoring one in the fourth, but really did some damage in the ensuing frame, an inning for Dreswick to forget. She allowed three runs, leaving Houston up by a run.

BC tied the game in the sixth on a Cami Sellers home run, but Frei would go on to take another loss in the seventh.

The Eagles rematched with Texas A&M for their second game on Saturday, and the Aggies sought to make sure that there was no chance of letting this one slip away. Texas A&M rolled over BC, needing NCAA’s mercy rule to end it at 11-3 through five innings.

BC scored again in the first inning, plating two on a Sellers double. However, poor defense gave the lead up in the bottom of the first, as the Aggies tied the game at 2-2 from a pair of unearned runs.

Four-straight losses to start the season isn’t ideal for any team, but the Eagles hung with tough competition of most of the weekend. With 25 consecutive away games scheduled to start the season, BC has to brush off the winless road trip, sort out its issues at the plate, and avoid piling up errors on the field.

Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Senior Staff

February 11, 2018

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