Traditionally, pitchers get tired. Repetitive motion tends to have that effect.
But that does not seem to be the case for Boston College softball’s Susannah Anderson. She told the American Journal of Sports Medicine’s decades of research to go take a hike, pitching over 20 combined innings this week, with her last pitch seemingly clocking in as fast as her first. Following a four-out save in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader, Anderson retook the circle in a complete-game victory, holding a formidable Syracuse offense to one run in the Eagles’ 3-1 win.
The Orange came out hot. After Paris Woods’ ground ball rolled underneath Nicole Giery’s glove, Gabby Teran advanced her with a groundout to Emme Martinez. Neli Casares-Maher, Syracuse’s three-hole hitter and owner of a .351 batting average entering the game, smoked a ground ball into Anderson’s right leg, putting runners on first and third with one out.
Lailoni Mayfield followed suit, hitting a grounder that tipped off Anderson’s glove, allowing Woods to score. Anderson rebounded and retired Angel Jasso and Toni Martin in succession, limiting the damage to one run.
Six of the next seven batters for both teams grounded out.
The Eagles then got their bats going in the bottom of the second. Gianna Randazza, BC’s right fielder, began the inning with a flyball to center field. It appeared to be a can of corn for Martin, the Orange’s center fielder, only a few steps from her original fielding position.
Then, left fielder Woods jogged over with the ball in midair. They could have had a conversation in the time Randazza’s flyball stayed in the air—and maybe they did. Which of the two of them was going to catch the ball, however, could not have been a topic of discussion, as the ball dropped in between them.
Djhane Valido hammered an opposite-field double into the right-center gap a couple of batters later, arriving at second as Randazza advanced to third. After Kamryn Warman fought off an inside fastball and popped out foul, Gianna Boccagno stepped up.
Boccagno took the first pitch for a ball and fouled off the second. Orange pitcher Kaia Oliver’s third pitch, with the intent of hitting the outside corner, ended up far too close to the center of the plate. Boccagno connected, sending a line drive up the middle and just by the outstretched mitt of the diving second baseman Teran, scoring both runners.
Elisabeth Laviolette followed Boccagno to continue the Eagles’ two-out rally. Laviolette delivered, driving a liner to the right-center wall, good for a double.The Orange executed the relay perfectly, and the ball passed from Martin to Casares-Maher to catcher Maxine Barnes in a matter of seconds. Boccagno was out at home, but the Eagles ended the inning with a 2-1 lead.
Anderson sat the Orange’s batters down 1-2-3 in the top of the third. Picking up where they left off, the Eagles put up another run in the bottom of the frame. Ellie Mataya singled up the middle to lead off for the Eagles. With one out, Giery walked up to the plate. On the second pitch, she pulverized a fastball down the line, scoring Mataya from first. After three, BC led Syracuse 3-1.
Anderson didn’t allow a run in the next four innings, despite a runner being in scoring position for each one of them. As Syracuse’s Barnes popped out to cement a BC victory, the radar gun on Anderson’s pitch read 66 mph—the MLB equivalent of 93 mph—after pitching 20.1 innings on the week.
Featured Image by Ikram Ali / Heights Editor