After winning only one of its last 15 games, it appeared as though Boston College softball could never catch a break. Despite Susannah Anderson’s consistent pitching and offensive success from Ellie Mataya, scarce run production and defensive mental errors have kept the Eagles out of the win column.
The Eagles luck changed on Saturday afternoon, as they (7-21, 3-13 Atlantic Coast) took game three—the first of Saturday’s doubleheader—against Syracuse (15-10, 8-7) by a final score of 5-3. BC head coach Amy Kvilhaug’s frequent lineup and defensive changes finally paid off, as Saturday’s combination tallied five runs on 10 hits.
Saturday’s first game had a surprise starter for the Eagles, as Peyton Schnackenberg received just her third start of the year. Schnackenberg was poised on the mound to begin the game, working out of tough situations and limiting Syracuse to only two hits through the first three innings.
BC struck first in the third inning. Back-to-back doubles by Elisabeth Laviolette—the first hit of her career—and Mataya gave the Eagles two runners in scoring position with nobody out, a feat that this team has rarely accomplished in 2021.
A sacrifice fly gave the Eagles the early one-run lead, and some timely two-out singles extended the gap to 3-0.
The Eagles have struggled to hold on to leads all season, and Saturday’s game nearly followed that same pattern.
After working herself out of a bases-loaded jam in the third, Schnackenberg could not repeat her success in the fourth. With two runners on, a single to center field was enough to clear the bases and cut the BC lead to just one run.
The Eagles found home again in the bottom of the fifth, with run production coming from the Giery sisters. A single from Nicole followed later by a home run powered to right field by Kristin gave BC the insurance runs it needed.
Syracuse did not go down quietly, as the Orange put up a run in the top of the sixth. With two outs, Kvilhaug went to her ace Anderson to close out the game, who promptly struck out the remaining Syracuse batter to end the inning.
Going into the seventh inning with a lead has been a curse for the Eagles recently. On Friday, they could not hold off the Orange, who scored in the seventh and eighth innings to complete a comeback victory. Cross-town rival Boston University did the same on March 23.
But, Anderson was relentless in the circle for her 1.1 innings of work. She retired all four batters she faced in order to secure victory for the Eagles in just their seventh win of the season.
The Eagles’ defense has been littered with errors, as just seven of BC’s 28 games passed without a defensive mistake, and the Eagles have committed 36 total errors this season. In Friday’s doubleheader, the Eagles committed six errors, but Saturday’s first game closed without a single mistake from the Eagles.
Featured Image by Ikram Ali / Heights Editor