Spring, Softball

Dreswick, Murphy Set Program Records as BC Downs Harvard

This year’s Boston College softball seniors, headed by the trio of Jessica Dreswick, Annie Murphy, and Chloe Sharabba, have just single-digit regular season home games remaining in their illustrious careers. So, it’s no surprise that they’re making them count.

Dreswick turned in a complete game effort, Murphy extended her hitting streak to 16, and Sharabba drove in a run, en route to a 3-1 victory over Harvard on Tuesday afternoon.

The win was of special significance for Dreswick, as the right-hander firmly left her mark on the Eagles’ (26-18, 11-6 Atlantic Coast) record book with her 56th career win, a feat unmatched in BC history. She gave up a run in the first inning before settling down for six scoreless innings in a row, allowing just two hits the rest of the way—five total—while walking two and striking out five.

Meanwhile, just hours after earning ACC Co-Player of the Week honors, Murphy continued to thrive—the two-hit game against the Crimson was her sixth multi-hit game in her last seven appearances. She also wrote her way into the BC record books, joining Dreswick, by establishing herself as the all-time record holder for doubles, slugging career number 40 in the win.

Described in a weekly press conference by head coach Ashley Obrest to BCEagles.com as someone who’s “finding her way on base every time she’s up,” Murphy not only boasts a lengthy hitting streak, but has watched her batting average climb to .389, over 50 points higher than her previous career-high, set last season.

Sharabba scored the game-tying run and would eventually chip in an insurance run with a sixth inning sacrifice fly, the icing on the cake of a third-straight win for a BC team fresh off a huge conference series win against rival Notre Dame.

The Crimson (20-14, 13-5 Ivy League), no slouch among Ivy schools, struck first against Dreswick by greeting her with a three-hit, one-run frame. They entered having won six of seven and looked the part immediately, as Rhianna Rich ripped a leadoff single on the game’s second pitch. Megan Lantz adopted the “swing early in the count” approach and doubled to center, advancing to third on an error from Lexi DiEmmanuele and bringing in her teammate.

After getting a groundout to second, Dreswick induced another one—this time off the bat of Harvard’s Elizabeth Shively—to Sharabba at second. Lantz took off for home, but the throw was on the money to quickly erase the threat. A groundout to first later, and the Crimson had nothing further to show than the one run, despite having placed a runner on third with zero outs.

It’d quickly prove costly, as the Eagles answered. Harvard’s Olivia Giaquinto, a sophomore prone to command struggles with eight more walks than strikeouts, ran into early trouble. Sharabba singled with one out, then bookended an Annie Murphy walk with a pair of stolen places to move within 60 feet of home. C.C. Cook’s ensuing flyout to right field had enough air under it for the sacrifice fly, tying the game at one.

Chances were few and far between for the Crimson moving forward, as Dreswick allowed a lone baserunner to reach over the next three innings. Meanwhile, Giaquinto was playing with fire. She escaped a bases-loaded jam in the second thanks to a flyout from Sharabba, then stranded two more in scoring position in the third after a pair of flyouts. Pushing runners across quickly proved difficult for BC, and the Eagles would go on to pile up 11 runners left on base—failing to convert on errors from Harvard, who totaled three.

It took a pitching change from the Crimson for BC to break through. After Giaquinto finished off the fourth inning with a 1-2-3 frame, Harvard head coach Jenny Allard opted for southpaw Katie Duncan out of the bullpen. On paper, it was a no-brainer. Giaquinto had thrown just 63 and one-third career innings, known more for her bat than her arm, while Duncan had already totaled double that—in 2018 alone.

Allard saw her team in a tie game over halfway through with an impressive opponent—with a chance to win—but Duncan, the staff ace, would falter. Duncan loaded the bases in her first frame, but still kept the game locked up at one apiece after a Jordan Chimento groundout. Yet she found herself in another troublesome spot the next time out. This time around, she wasn’t able to escape, the primary culprit simply an error committed by herself.

The go-ahead run came across after Allyson Moore drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on a bunt, then scored when Duncan threw the ball away after an DiEmmanuele bunt attempt. DiEmmanuele made it to second, stole third, then added the insurance run on Sharabba’s sacrifice fly.

It was a more than disappointing turn of events for Harvard—but on the flip side, another impressive win for BC. The Eagles have consistently won the matchups they’ve needed to, beating seven non-conference opponents in a row, not to mention their ability to hold their own in the ACC. With the two-headed monster of Dreswick and Frei in the circle and a white-hot Murphy leading the lineup, BC enters this weekend’s series against Louisville, losers of four straight, with a chance to pick up where it last left off in conference play.

Featured Image by Bradley Smart / Heights Editor

April 24, 2018