Softball, Spring, Sports

BC Softball 2021: Schedule Breakdown

After the COVID-19 pandemic cut its 2020 season short, Boston College softball will take the field in 2021 for what will hopefully be a full slate of games. BC will play a 50-game regular season, with 38 games against ACC opponents. Non-conference foes include in-state rivals UMass and BU, as well as out of state teams such as Jacksonville and North Florida.

Though the Eagles held just a 9-12 record last season before the season’s premature end and won just four ACC games in 2018, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the team’s performance this season. The entire pitching staff returns, led by ace Susannah Anderson, who posted just a 1.80 ERA in 2020, good for 7th best in the ACC. Anderson threw eight complete games. CC Cook was also very effective on the mound, with a 2.56 ERA in five starts. The Eagles had one of the worst offenses in the ACC last season, but seven of BC’s top nine batters were underclassmen last year and had plenty of preparation time in an extended offseason.

*Denotes ACC game

Feb. 12 at Jacksonville (Jacksonville, Fla.), Doubleheader

While the Eagles usually start their season by playing in a large invitational, this season will open on a more quiet note as BC heads down south for a stretch of five games against just two opponents. BC kicks off the schedule with a doubleheader against Jacksonville on Friday night. The Dolphins went 15-11 in the abbreviated 2020 season but have largely struggled as of late, compiling just one winning record between 2014 and 2019.

Feb. 13 at North Florida (Jacksonville, Fla.), Doubleheader

The Eagles have never faced North Florida before but will get well acquainted with the Ospreys in a Saturday doubleheader. 

Feb. 14 at Jacksonville (Jacksonville, Fla.)

Feb. 17 vs. NC State (Raleigh, N.C.)*

While it’s technically a home game, the Eagles will travel to Raleigh for a matchup against the Wolfpack in what will be the ACC opener for both programs. Jacksonville and North Florida are both manageable opponents, so NC State will be the first major test of the year for the Eagles. The Wolfpack had its best 15-game start in program history in 2020 on the way to a 19-6 record, and NC State led the ACC in home runs per game last season.

Feb. 18-19 vs. North Carolina (Chapel Hill, N.C.)*

After a tall test against the Wolfpack, the Eagles will stay in North Carolina for a trio of games against UNC, as they play one game on Feb. 18 and have a doubleheader scheduled for the following day. While the Tar Heels fell off last year and finished just 10-14, they ended the season in the top four of the ACC during the three years prior

Feb. 20 vs. NC State (Raleigh, N.C.)*, Doubleheader

Mar. 5-7 at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, Va.)*

The Hokies will be a tough out for the Eagles, as BC heads to Blacksburg for a four-game series. Virginia Tech tore through its 2020 schedule to the tune of a 21-4 record on the back of the ACC’s top offense, and nearly all of its key hitters are back for this season

Mar. 13 vs. University of Massachusetts (Brighton, Mass.)

After playing their first 15 games on the road, the Eagles finally return home to the friendly confines of the Harrington Athletics Village and the newly finished Pete Frates Center. The three-game stretch against non-conference opponents—starting with UMass—is one of BC’s few breaks from conference play after the start of the ACC season. The Eagles missed their matchup with UMass last year due to the early cancellation of the season but faced the Minutewomen twice in 2019 and split the two 1games

Mar. 19 vs. Boston University (Brighton, Mass.), Doubleheader

BC’s homestand continues with a doubleheader against another in-state rival. The Terriers have laid waste to the Patriot League in recent years, racking up a 55-14 conference record between 2016 and 2019

Mar. 21 vs. Stony Brook University (Brighton, Mass.), Doubleheader

Mar. 26-28 vs. Florida State (Brighton, Mass.)*

The Eagles jump right back into the deep end of ACC play after playing Stony Brook to face one of the toughest opponents not just in the ACC, but in the nation. The Seminoles won the 2018 NCAA Championship and have won the conference 17 times, including the previous two full seasons. BC has won just one of its past 24 games against the ’Noles. 

Apr. 1-3 at Virginia (Charlottesville, Va.)*

After the seven-game homestand, BC gets back on the road with a four-game slate against the Cavaliers. The trip will be a welcome break for the Eagles after their games against the Seminoles, as Virginia has been an ACC bottom dweller in recent years. The Eagles last played the Cavaliers in 2018 and swept the series

Apr. 9-11 vs. Syracuse (Brighton, Mass.)*

The Orange are another relatively weak ACC opponent, and the Eagles have won eight of the last nine matchups between the two teams dating back to 2016. 

Apr. 16-18 at Clemson (Clemson, S.C.)*

Apr. 21 vs. Merrimack (Brighton, Mass.)

Apr. 23-25 vs. Pittsburgh (Brighton, Mass.)*

Volatility has been the story of late for the Panthers, as Pitt bottomed out in the ACC in both 2017 and 2019, but finished atop the Coastal division in 2018. Still, the Panthers have been a problem for the Eagles even in Pitt’s down years. Pitt compiled a 4-2 record across the six games the two teams played in 2017 and 2019

Apr. 28 at Connecticut (Storrs, Conn.)

Apr. 30-May. 2 vs. Louisville (Brighton, Mass.)*

The Eagles will play four games against Louisville for their last homestand of the year. Though the Cardinals are usually one of the strongest teams in the conference, they have struggled over the last couple seasons. Former Pitt head coach Holly Aprile took over the program before the 2019 season and will look to bring the Cardinals back to the level of play that they have historically shown in the ACC.

May. 7-9 at Notre Dame (South Bend, Ind.)*

BC closes out the regular season with four games against the rival Irish. While the Seminoles won the Atlantic Division in both 2019 and 2018, the Irish have been right behind them and have established themselves as one of the powerhouses of the ACC in recent years. Save for last year’s cancellation, the Irish have not missed an NCAA tournament since head coach Deanna Gumpf took charge of the program in 2002. 

Featured Image By Ashton Carroll / For The Heights

February 12, 2021