Spring, Softball

Dreswick’s Perfect Game Headlines Softball’s Sweep of Virginia

With Boston College softball holding a slim lead over Virginia in the seventh inning of its weekend finale, Eagles head coach Ashley Obrest didn’t shy away from keeping the ball in the hands of Jessica Dreswick—the staff ace who was looking to complete her second shutout of the weekend.

She didn’t disappoint, pitching a scoreless seventh inning to secure a 3-0 win for BC (12-15, 3-3 Atlantic Coast), capping off a series sweep of the Cavaliers (9-22, 1-8). Dreswick played a big role in the successful weekend, hurling a perfect game—the first in program history—then bouncing back from a shaky second start with a series-ending shutout.

BC’s offense had been on fire in Friday’s doubleheader, scoring a combined 18 runs to begin the series, and though runs were slightly harder to come by in Saturday’s finale, the Eagles still came through with enough timely hits to win.

On Saturday, the scoring started in the first inning, with Chloe Sharabba leading off the game with a double. An attempted sacrifice bunt by Lexi DiEmmanuele turned into a run for the Eagles, as a throwing error resulted in Sharabba scoring from second. Annie Murphy drove in DiEmmanuele with an RBI single, giving BC an early two-run lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

The Eagles tacked on another insurance run in the third inning. Once again, Sharabba opened an inning with a hit, lacing a single up the middle. After she advanced to third on a stolen base and a groundout, Murphy brought her in with a single, capping the scoring spurt.

The only time the Cavaliers threatened Dreswick was in the fourth when Olivia Gott hit a deep double to right-center with two outs, putting a Cavalier in scoring position. Dreswick came back to force a groundout to third base, though, escaping the jam. She scattered three hits and a pair of walks during the shutout, her fourth of the year—and ninth of her career, good for third in BC history.

Weather-related concerns forced the Eagles to play a doubleheader on Friday. Though both teams would slow down offensively in Saturday’s contest, the late game on Friday featured plenty of offensive firepower on both sides. BC trailed by a run entering the final three frames, but pulled out a 10-6 win after a pair of multi-run innings.

The back-and-forth affair saw the Eagles draw first blood in the top of the first inning. A double to left field by DiEmmanuele and an RBI single from Murphy staked the Eagles to the early lead. After a pair of wild pitches and a walk put runners on second and third with one out, Carly Severini and C.C. Cook hit back-to-back singles to drive in two more.

After being held hitless earlier in the day, the Cavaliers finally cracked the Dreswick puzzle in the second. Dreswick issued a lead off walk, Ashlee Davis singled, and Erika Osherow doubled in a pair of runs to snap the six-inning scoreless stretch. An error plated Osherow to tie the game at three. However, the Eagles reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the frame, when Sharabba led off with a triple to center field, and UVA shortstop Hayley Busby committed an error, yielding an unearned run.

BC would extend its lead on a Sharabba single in the third, but UVA answered. After a pair of runners reached, Kate Covington tied the game with a triple to right. A single to left by Allison David would bring her in, chasing Dreswick from the game and putting her in line for the loss. She exited after just 3 2/3 innings, having allowed six runs, five earned, with just two strikeouts—a far cry from her performance earlier in the day.

Dreswick’s replacement, Allyson Frei, managed to lock down the Cavaliers for the rest of the game. She finished off the evening, allowing just one hit while striking out three batters and, most importantly, giving the Eagles’ offense a chance to respond—which it did. BC loaded the bases in the fifth, setting up Sharabba to draw an RBI walk, and a DiEmmanuele fielder’s choice gave the Eagles a 7-6 lead.

Inspired yet again by Cook, who finished Friday’s doubleheader a perfect 5-for-5, the Eagles tacked on three more runs in the sixth. A leadoff triple by Cook and a Jordan Chimento single upped BC’s lead to two, and Sharabba followed with a two-run double to deep center field, essentially putting a nail in the coffin.

Friday’s early contest was more than a perfect start to the weekend for the Eagles. Backed by an impressive outpouring and pure dominance on the mound from Dreswick, BC rolled to an 8-0 shutout of the Cavaliers.

The scoring started in the second inning when the Eagles plated five runs—all with two outs. After loading the bases, DiEmmanuele drove in two runs with a single, then Murphy followed with a two-run triple into left field. Cami Sellers wrapped up the inning with a double to center.

The Eagles added a run in the third inning. Once again, it was Cook getting the rally started with her first career triple. After a walk to Olivia Markopoulos put runners at the corners with zero outs, Moore grounded out to shortstop, driving in BC’s sixth run of the game. It added two more runs in the fifth, as Allyson Moore drew a bases-loaded walk and, shortly afterwards, Chimento recorded an RBI single, ending the game by mercy rule.

Though the Eagles’ offense was clicking on all cylinders Friday, they could have scored one run, and it wouldn’t have mattered. Dreswick, the senior pitcher who will graduate as one of BC’s best ever, added yet another accolade to her distinguished career. In addition to not allowing a hit or walk through five innings, she also struck out seven batters for her eighth complete game of the season—a brilliant pitching performance that reflected an outstanding team effort in the first game of the series.

Coming off a frustrating first ACC series against Duke, the Eagles showed resolve to fight back and sweep UVA, using strong pitching performances from Dreswick and Frei and getting the timely hits that they lacked last weekend against the Blue Devils. When the pitching is clicking and the bats are alive, it’s easy to feel optimistic about BC as it continues conference play.

Featured Image by Celine Lim / Heights Staff

March 24, 2018