Boston College softball arrived in Charlottesville looking to snap its eight-game losing streak but was caught off guard by an early statement from Virginia, and the Eagles struggled to fight back.
In the first of the four-game series, the Eagles fell to the Cavaliers 1-0, from only one hit by UVA’s biggest hitter, Katie Goldberg.
The second game, however, was a different story, as BC (5-17, 1-10 Atlantic Coast) committed more errors than it recorded hits, and the Cavaliers (10-17, 6-13) run-ruled the Eagles with a 9-0 win after just five innings.
The Cavaliers quickly heated up their bats and started off the game with a bang in the bottom of the first with five hits and six runs. The Eagles struggled to quiet the Cavaliers’ bats, even after two pitching changes.
CC Cook gave up a three-run home run to Goldberg before Peyton Schnackenberg came in for relief. Then, when Schnackenberg gave up three hits and one run, Cook went back on the mound for her second appearance of the game in just the first inning. Cook still struggled to find her rhythm, giving up two more runs to make the score 6-0. In only the first inning, the Cavaliers ran through their entire lineup with 10 at-bats.
BC head coach Amy Kvilhaug later made a third pitching change. Gianna Randazza had the day’s most impressive performance for the Eagles’ pitching squad. Though she’s a senior, Thursday was Randazza’s first ever career pitching appearance. Although it was her first time on the mound, Randazza retired all three batters she faced in the fourth inning.
The Eagles recorded only three hits in the first game of the series, and Aly Rayle, who was ranked in the top 100 nationally in four pitching categories last year, shut down the Eagles once again in the second game.
Rayle pitched for the first four innings of the game, and she made the Eagles’ time at the plate very difficult, coming at every batter with movement and power. In the first two innings, Rayle sat down all six batters she faced, and she let only two players reach base the entire game.
Nicole Giery recorded BC’s first and only hit of the game in the bottom of the fourth with two outs. Gianna Boccagno reached first from getting hit by pitch in the top of the third. Rayle had five total strikeouts and provided a strong defensive wall for UVA.
Freshman Madison Harris relieved Rayle in the top of the fifth and final inning of the game. Harris struck out two of the three batters she faced. The run-rule cut Thursday’s game short at five innings instead of seven. College softball is the only sport to still have the mercy rule that states the game ends if one team is up by eight or more runs after five innings.
The Eagles struggled not only at the plate, but on the field too. UVA runners capitalized and scored on all three of the Eagles’ errors. The Cavaliers had an efficient offense, scoring nine runs from only eight hits and three walks.
Featured Image by Ikram Ali / Heights Editor