In its first home game since May 1, 2019, and the earliest home game in team history, Boston College softball (3-7, 1-4 Atlantic Coast) dominated Bryant University (0-1) in a decisive 8-0, six-inning victory. The Eagles came out eager to play after a two-week drought without an official game. For second-year head coach Amy Kvilhaug, Wednesday marked her first win at the Harrington Athletics Village after the 2020 season was cut short without a home appearance.
“There were some things that we needed to work on overall, and then the things that we felt we needed to work on that we saw out of the spreadsheet,” Kvilhaug said of the two weeks off from competition.
Whatever work the Eagles put in in the time off must have made a difference, as BC earned its largest win of the season to date.
Senior right-hander CC Cook earned the start for the Eagles, and she completely overpowered the Bulldogs’ lineup through her four innings of work. After a walk in the first inning, Cook sat the offense down in order over her next three, finishing the day without rendering a hit and picking up the win. Peyton Schnackenberg relieved Cook in the fifth, and Schnackenberg refused to let up on the Bryant hitters, keeping them without a run.
The Eagles came out aggressively on offense against Bryant pitcher Jocelyn Bodington, and Ellie Mataya started the scoring barrage with a leadoff single in the first. Bodington escaped the inning unscathed, as she utilized her changeup to keep the next three BC batters off balance and retire the side.
The BC lineup would not be stagnant for long, though, as Kristin Giery rocketed a single past the shortstop to score Gianna Boccagno in the next inning to take a 1-0 lead after two.
One run was all the momentum that BC needed, as the Eagles would go on to score seven more unanswered runs. Anissa Alatorre demonstrated some impressive power in the third as she sent a towering two-run homerun over the left-field wall, and Jules Trevino kept the pressure on the Bryant defense with an RBI single in the fourth inning.
“I feel like the chemistry of the group is pretty good,” Kvilhaug said. “These girls have a lot of fun together, and ‘family’ has been one of our big themes.”
Defensively, the Eagles didn’t falter. Boccagno was solid behind the plate, throwing out a runner on an attempted steal by a longshot, much to the joy of her teammates whose voices erupted from the dugout. Emme Martinez would go on to make a diving catch on a bunt attempt in the fifth, keeping the momentum in favor of the home team.
While four runs was more than enough to secure victory, the Eagles were relentless and capitalized on two walks in the sixth frame. Mataya continued her success with a double to score two runs, and Djhane Valido secured the run-rule walk-off RBI with a single to left field. BC finished the sixth inning with four runs in that frame alone.
In six innings, 16 different BC players made a game appearance in some form, which speaks to the extensive depth within the Eagles’ lineup. The Eagles’ lineup has seen changes at every point this season, and today’s season high of eight scored runs from seven different players demonstrates just how valuable a deep bench can be.
“As far as depth, I think it’s actually pushing people to be better,” Kvilhaug said. “When you learn how to compete for a spot, it brings out the best in you and elevates our game.”
Featured Image Courtesy of BC Athletics