Sports, Spring, Softball

No. 7 FSU Sweeps Series With 10-2 Win Over BC

Any informed softball fan would have winced when they saw Boston College softball’s schedule for the past week and a half. In nine days, BC has met three clubs at the top of its conferences on its home turf: two games with 13-1 Boston University of the Patriot League, another two with 13-5 Stony Brook out of the America East Conference, and culminating with four games against 2018 NCAA Champion and ACC powerhouse Florida State. Despite keeping six of seven games within five runs, the Eagles exit this grueling stretch winless after two losses to Florida State on Saturday.

The second of Saturday’s two games was a significant departure from the weekend’s previous three games. Florida State (20-6, 8-2 Atlantic Coast) put up an offensive deluge, drowning the Eagles (5-15, 1-8) by a final score of 10-2.

“What’s motivating is that we still have 24 ACC games left,” BC head coach Amy Kvilhaug said after the game. “There’s still opportunities to be had. At the end of the day, our goal is to get to the ACC Tournament, and there’s an opportunity to do that.”

Caylan Arnold, FSU’s starter of Friday’s combined no-hitter against the Eagles, took the circle for game two of the doubleheader in a rematch with BC’s CC Cook. Leadoff singles in the first inning for FSU’s Devyn Flaherty and BC’s Ellie Mataya didn’t amount to a run, as both were stranded on second base. Aside from a single up the middle for FSU shortstop Josie Muffley, each team was retired in short fashion in the second.

Offense finally arrived in the third inning. By switching up speeds, Cook kept the Seminole batters off balance to begin the third. Flaherty unloaded a swing with the intent of sending Cook’s pitch to the stratosphere, but she was a second or two early, and Cook’s curveball smacked Gianna Boccagno’s mitt unscathed. 

Cook missed with a 3-1 pitch, sending Flaherty to first base. A groundout advanced her to second, where she scored on a stroke of luck. FSU’s Kalei Harding grounded one up the middle, advancing Flaherty to third, but it ricocheted off the side of second base, popping up into the air and reaching open grass in shallow left. Flaherty scored, making it 1-0 in the Seminoles’ favor.

The Eagles answered in the bottom of the inning. Successive singles by Cook and Mataya were followed by Nicole Giery’s sacrifice bunt, putting two runners in scoring position. Emme Martinez drilled a 1-1 pitch into center field to score Cook, and Jenna Ergle, not one to be outdone, smashed a liner into left field that scored Mataya, putting the Eagles ahead 2-1.

“Ellie is a spark plug,” Kvilhaug said. “She leads us off, she gets on base for us … she’s great defensively. She’s very important. Hitting .400 … she’s somebody we look to to lead the charge for us.”

Then the wheels fell off. In the top of the fourth, Cook sat down the first two FSU batters on six pitches. The Seminoles then put up five runs with two outs. A walk and two singles loaded the bases for FSU, and Flaherty delivered again, sending a frozen rope to right field that scored two. 

FSU’s Elizabeth Mason drew a walk, loading the bases for a second time, and Harding cracked a middle-in fastball into left-center, bouncing once before hitting the outfield wall and clearing the bases, extending FSU’s lead to four runs, 6-2.

BC went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the fourth. The Seminoles’ hitting onslaught continued as they plated three more runs before making an out. Flaherty grounded into a double play with the bases loaded, scoring one to make the score 10-2. BC failed to get the offense going in the bottom of the fifth, and the game concluded with a run-rule win.

Featured Image by Ikram Ali / Heights Editor

March 29, 2021