Sports, Spring, Softball

BC Fails To Complete Sweep in Series Finale Against Syracuse

Boston College softball was not only looking to sweep conference rival Syracuse in the final contest of a three-game homestand on Sunday afternoon, but was also aiming to string together three straight wins for the first time all season. After winning on a walkoff on Friday night and routing the Orange on Saturday, the Eagles seemed poised to achieve that feat. However, Syracuse—who entered the day with one conference win in five tries—played spoiler, knocking off BC, 8-3, on a picturesque spring day.

The Eagles (10-16, 2-4 Atlantic Coast) started freshman Susannah Anderson on the mound, and she quickly worked through the first inning—and her team set her up with an early lead, too. In the bottom of the first, the BC lineup got to Orange (10-18, 2-4) starter Alexa Romero. She walked the leadoff batter, Lexi DiEmmanuele, and shortly after, Eagles third baseman Emme Martinez roped an RBI single to right field. While the Eagles ended up leaving a runner on base to conclude the first inning, the productive offense that scored 10 runs just 24 hours earlier drew first blood.

Anderson lost the lead soon enough, though, but it wasn’t all on her. Syracuse found ways to advance baserunners in the top of the second inning, with an overthrow by BC shortstop Carlie Sanders aiding an Orange baserunner to score unearned and tie the game at one run apiece. Anderson dug in and remained unfazed by the brief Eagles defensive lapse, finishing the inning while allowing only one hit.

But that momentum quickly disappeared in the next frame, as Syracuse’s Gabby Teran led off with a deep home run to left field. While Anderson tried to shake off the homer, another error resulted in Orange players on first and third. BC head coach Ashley Obrest decided it was time to relieve Anderson, and called on freshman Camryn Dolby—who pitched well on Saturday—to take the mound mid-inning.

The Syracuse runner on third immediately took advantage of a wild pitch from Dolby, increasing its lead to two runs. Finally, after a series of walks and popouts, Dolby managed to get off the field, but only after the top of the second saw two runs and one hit from Syracuse, as well as an Eagles error. The bottom of the third inning proved to be another “hit and miss” from BC, as Martinez singled to right field again, yet the Eagles were unable to capitalize.

After several scoreless innings, BC’s coaching staff made defensive changes in the fifth inning, sending Carly Severini to shortstop and Giery to first base. The decision didn’t prove effective, as Dolby subsequently allowed a two-run home run to Orange left fielder Toni Martin.

In the bottom of the fifth, DiEmanuele successfully reached first on a bunt, yet was tagged out at second on an attempted steal. It was symbolic of the issues the Eagles had with moving runners around the bases, as Martinez continued her productive day at bat and slapped a double through the center field gap—but there was no one on to come home.

After Teran crushed her second home run in the sixth to push the lead to six,  BC replaced Dolby with C.C. Cook. The sophomore retired the next two runners and temporarily stifled further damage, but three quick successful at-bats for the Eagles ended any home of closing in on Syracuse’s lead in the sixth.

In the final inning of the three-game series, Syracuse tacked on another run via sacrifice fly to center. Now trailing by seven, the BC offense needed to produce runs in order to pull off the sweep. DiEmanuele gave the Eagles some hope, tripling to right field, and Ellie Mataya’s keen eye produced a walk. Then, Martinez doubled to center field, scoring both Eagles and cutting Syracuse’s lead to five. However, with two outs, a BC popup to third base secured the victory for Syracuse.

While BC suffered a frustrating loss on Sunday—it struck out nine times and left seven runners on base—the young Eagles squad demonstrated its tenacity and ability to score over the weekend. For example, BC’s Emme Martinez went 4-for-4 on Sunday with two RBI’s, further continuing an impressive run from the sophomore.

Still, there’s a lot to work on, as the Eagles will look to improve by decreasing defensive errors and capitalizing with base runners in scoring position. A midweek game against a struggling Massachusetts side—the Minutemen have dropped three of four—could be just the recipe to regain the potent form BC displayed in the first two games of the series.

Featured Image by Kayla Brandt / For The Heights

March 24, 2019