Sports, Spring, Softball

Three-Run Fourth Lifts Eagles Past Visiting UMass Lowell

After a tough three-game homestand for Boston College softball—it dropped all three contests to visiting Virginia Tech by a decisive 29-4 margin—the Eagles welcomed in a Massachusetts Lowell side that they’d defeated in every meeting since the teams first squared off in 2016. With senior Lexi DiEmmanuele hitting .438 and going 4-for-4 on stolen bases last week, BC knew it had the ammunition to overtake the River Hawks. It was just a matter of cleaning up its game to sustain the winning tradition against the in-state rival, and the Eagles more than rose to the occasion, using a three-run fourth to distance themselves in a 5-2 victory.

BC (17-32, 4-17 Atlantic Coast) wasted no time getting on the board. After starter Camryn Dolby stranded two River Hawks on base at the top of the first, the Eagles made sure to capitalize in the bottom half of the frame. DiEmmanuele upheld her reputation as BC’s most potent offensive weapon, as she singled through the right side to get on base before stealing second. Allyson Moore brought her home, singling down the right field line to give DiEmmanuele just the opportunity she needed to tally the Eagles’ first run. BC was hoping to make it two, as a single from Gianna Boccagno advanced Moore to second, but the two were left on base heading into the second.

The Eagles’ pitching upheld their end of the game in the early going, holding the River Hawks scoreless in the second frame in an inning similar to the first. Dolby let Marianne Sparacia and Christina Rizzi reach base, but the River Hawks again failed to finish the deal and went into the bottom of the second with nothing to show for it.

BC failed to extend its lead, giving the River Hawks just the confidence they needed to jump to a one-run advantage in the top of the third. UMass Lowell’s first hitter, Courtney Cashman, singled to left field to seize momentum, and the team’s second batter, Maria Moccio homered to right field to push herself and Cashman over home plate. The Eagles had to come up with a quick response but let the inning slip through their fingers. Without managing a hit, BC conceded the lead and now had to seek a come-from-behind victory.

That came in the fourth, when the Eagles sealed the fate of the game. Holding the River Hawks scoreless at the top of the inning, BC knew it must capitalize on the opportunity. In a climactic frame, the Eagles managed three runs to put themselves up, 4-2. It all started with an infield single to second base from Ellie Mataya. Gianna Randazza brought her home as she tripled to right center. Jules Trevino pinch ran for Randazza and quickly found herself scoring another run for the Eagles after Carlie Sanders tripled to center field. A one-run advantage simply wasn’t enough, so Kristin Giery stuffed things away with a double to right center, plating Sanders to increase their lead to 4-2.

The Eagles refused to concede another run for the rest of the game, as BC continued to add insurance. Mataya and Randazza joined forces again—Mataya singled and stole second just before Randazza singled to left center, scoring her teammate for another easy run in the bottom of the fifth inning.

The score stagnated through the sixth frame, and after another scoreless inning for the River Hawks, the Eagles were finally able to celebrate their home victory. They snapped a skid of five straight losses at Harrington Athletics Village, and reliever Susannah Anderson had a hand in it—she struck out one and scattered a walk and a hit batsmen over three scoreless innings.

Despite a rocky season, the Eagles have demonstrated resilience and perseverance, making sure to capitalize on winnable games to salvage their overall record. On the year, BC is two games under .500 in non-conference play, but since dropping its first four games of the year at the Texas Classic, the Eagles have posted a respectable 13-11 record outside of the ACC. That’s something that head coach Ashley Obrest will likely point to in the offseason, as the Eagles are young and should only continue to grow amid their rebuild.

Featured Image by Jonathan Ye / Heights Editor

May 1, 2019