Softball, Spring, Sports

Crusaders Beat Eagles For First Time Since 1996

Boston College softball opened up a seven-game home stand with a matchup against non-conference foe Holy Cross on Tuesday, hungry for a win. It seemed as if the season was looking up, especially after the Eagles upset over nearby rival Massachusetts the Wednesday before break, but things took a nosedive in Tallahassee.

After conceding all three games in a series against Florida State this past weekend, BC dropped 10 games below .500 in the ACC and sixth in the Atlantic Division. Having experienced a rather inconsistent season thus far, the Eagles were looking for an easy win against the Crusaders, who haven’t seen a win against BC since 1996. Despite leading the series 25-1, the Eagles found the task more daunting than expected—the Crusaders jumped to a three-run lead in the third inning and ultimately stuffed the game away in the fourth for a comfortable 6-0 win.

Susannah Anderson got off to a good start for the Eagles (15-29, 4-14 Atlantic Coast), holding the Crusaders (10-30, 2-10 Patriot League) scoreless in the first inning. BC faced offensive struggles at the bottom of the frame, though, keeping the score knotted at zero. Both Lexi DiEmmanuele and Ellie Mataya grounded out, and Allyson Moore struck out swinging to send the game to the second inning with no one on base.

The Eagles experienced a scare in the second but continued to hold things up on the defensive end, as Holy Cross’ marquee player, Taylor Wahler, advanced to third in the middle of the frame. BC made sure to leave her there, as Alyssa Gutierrez grounded out to first to tally the Crusaders’ third out with no runs on the board. The Eagles failed to capitalize on early strong pitching from Anderson, however, as their half of the inning proceeded similarly. Gianna Randazza managed a walk to first but failed to advance on a steal, sending the Eagles to the third inning scoreless.

Things heated up in the third, as the Crusaders managed to get on the board. A single from Bailey Chavez landed her on first, and she soon advanced to third on an error. Jackie Wahler singled to center field to bring her home and score the first run of the game. This was just the momentum the Crusaders needed, as Erin Bengston doubled through the right side, scoring Wahler and Jessie Nagel. The Eagles had no response, as they failed to cross the plate at the bottom of the third, leaving Holy Cross with the advantage.

The Crusaders quickly piled on, loading the bases early in the fourth. A walk by Bailey Chavez pushed Sydney Behrens across home plate, hoisting the score to 4-0. Nagel reached on a fielder’s choice, advancing Chavez to second and Brewster to third shortly after, with a Wahler single, driving both Chavez and Brewster in to extend Holy Cross’ lead to 6-0. The Eagles had no response again despite a single and a scrappy steal to second by DiEmmanuele. Managing to get to third, DiEmmanuele’s efforts proved too late, as Randazza struck out swinging to leave her there and send the game to its fifth frame, where both teams failed to move the needle.  

The sixth frame followed suit, as the game shifted to a battle of the defenses. Both teams ran into trouble crossing the plate, as the Crusaders relaxed into their comfortable lead. DiEmmanuele put forth another valiant effort in the field, once again swiping second after a clean single. In a desperate effort to put points on the board, DiEmmanuele made a stealthy steal to third, but was obstructed once again when Moore popped up to third. After an uneventful seventh inning—neither team recorded a hit—Holy Cross left the Harrington Athletics Village victorious.  

It extended a painful scoreless streak for the Eagles, who last touched home plate four games ago against the Minutemen—not so coincidentally the last time they won a game as well. Since that eighth inning rally against UMass, BC has gone 28 innings without a run, the result of managing just 15 combined hits over that frame. With the offense as cold as it is, it’s unrealistic to expect perfection from the likes of an Eagles’ pitching staff that ranks third-to-last in the conference in ERA (4.73).

Featured Image by Jonathan Ye / Heights Editor

April 24, 2019