Sports, Spring, Softball

Eagles Split Season Series With UMass, Win in Extras

After giving up four runs in the final two innings of a tough loss to Massachusetts on March 27, Boston College softball traveled to Amherst on Wednesday for a midweek rematch. The Eagles entered their 46th meeting with the Minutemen with something to prove, as the in-state rival led the overall series, 39-6.

Looking to pull off an upset, the Eagles hoped to put up a more aggressive offensive effort, as sophomore Gianna Randazza led the team with a .417 batting average just last week to help reverse the Eagles’ recent scoring woes. After cinching a win on day two of the Louisville series last weekend, the Eagles proved that they can compete with high-level programs when everything goes to plan.

Despite ultimately conceding the series with the Cardinals, on Wednesday, BC showed that it was a better team than it was just three weeks prior, using an impressive four-run effort in the eighth inning to knock off the Minutemen, 6-2.

Things started slowly, as UMass’ (20-17, 8-2 Atlantic 10) first baseman Melissa Garcia fielded a ground ball and threw it over to first to end a 1-2-3 inning for the Minutemen, holding the Eagles (15-25, 4-11 ACC) scoreless. BC’s Susannah Anderson responded in kind by escaping the first with just a single and a walk to keep the score knotted at zero.  

The Eagles were the first to put an end to the scoring drought in the second inning, scoring two runs off a single from Carly Severini. Not only that, but a passed ball scored Gianna Boccagno. UMass’ Kendra Allen made a play at third to limit the damage, but the Eagles quickly acquired critical momentum, heading into the third inning with clear intent to preserve the lead.

BC’s defense maintained its end of the deal, as UMass offensive stalwart Madison Gimpl got 60 feet from the plate with two down but was left there with runners on the corners. A second scare came just before the end of the inning, as a pair of singles put two runners on base, but a groundout to second ended the third frame before they could even attempt to cross the plate.

Soon enough, the game became a pitcher’s duel, as the score remained stagnant until the bottom of the sixth when UMass’ Erin Stacevicz drew a RBI walk. That was just the leverage the Minutemen needed, as Kaycee Carbone proceeded to work a second walk to tie things up in the sixth frame.

The Eagles were not about to let this one slip through their fingers. The score remained knotted through the seventh, but BC pressed to take the game over in extra innings. Its efforts were not in vain, as freshman Kennedy Labshere hit a single to center, scoring Gianna Randazza to take a 3-2 lead. The Eagles weren’t done yet, as they went on to seal the victory by tacking on two more runs, thanks to an infield error. Lexi DiEmmanuele scored the final run in the eighth off a fielder’s choice, hoisting the Eagles to a 6-2 lead.

Senior Kendra Friedt took her place on the mound and managed to shut down the Minutemen to finalize the score, finishing with four strikeouts in two innings, and the Eagles walked away with the season’s last word against UMass.

As was evident on Wednesday, head coach Ashley Obrest’s team possesses the talent to play at a high level when BC’s pitching and hitting comes together. The Eagles have picked up quality wins when they have put forth a cohesive effort, both at the plate and in the circle, which is precisely what set them apart during this midweek affair. As things are looking up, the Eagles should enter Easter weekend with renewed confidence, as they head south to take on the nation’s top team in Florida State.  

Featured Image by Jonathan Ye / Heights Editor

April 18, 2019