Pittsburgh softball entered Saturday’s doubleheader on a roll. Winners of six straight, coming off a four-game sweep against UNC last weekend and adding two more to the win column against Boston College on Friday, the Panthers were rising through the ACC standings and overcoming their earlier struggles this season.
With a win or two over BC on Saturday, Pitt (16-27, 6-19) would have found itself squarely in the ACC playoffs, with a cushion between it and No. 10 UNC. The Eagles (10-27, 6-19) had other ideas. BC took both games of Saturday’s doubleheader, coming from behind to win the first game 3-2 and securing an 8-4 victory in the second.
Heading into the bottom of the fourth of the second game, BC trailed 4-3. With four Panther hits in the top of the inning, including RBIs from Chandler Walter and Kayla Lane, it was the Eagles’ turn to respond. BC proceeded to follow the Panthers’ long inning with one of their own. Pinch hitting for Jenna Ergle, Payton Cox started the rally with a single into right with one out. Gianna Randazza followed her and shot a liner into the right-center gap for a double, scoring Cox from first and tying the score at four.
But, the Eagles weren’t done yet. Shortstop Djhane Valido singled, moving pinch runner Erika Andal to third, still with one out. After Ellie Mataya moved Valido over with a groundout, freshman left fielder Elisabeth Laviolette stepped up to the plate with two runners in scoring position and two outs.
Laviolette drilled the Panthers’ Brittany Knight’s 2-1 offering up the middle, driving in both runners. Nicole Giery then singled to shortstop Morgan Batesole, and her sister Kristin did the same, scoring Laviolette from second for her third hit of the game. At the end of four, BC led 7-4.
Susannah Anderson, who entered in relief in the top of the fourth, settled in after giving up a few runs and blanked the Panthers for the rest of the game. After a scoreless fifth in which Pitt had two hits and stranded two in scoring position, Anderson didn’t allow another hit in the last two innings. The Eagles added one more in the bottom of the sixth on a Nicole Giery double into the gap to earn their second win of the afternoon
In the first game, Anderson pitched a complete-game gem, allowing two runs for the first of her two wins on the day. In five of her seven innings she sat three down in order. The only time the Panthers got going was in the fourth, when Anderson surrendered two of the three hits that she allowed all game.
EC Taylor led the inning off with a single, and Cami Compson walked. Sarah Seamans grounded one to Emme Martinez, which she took to the base for a putout and two outs in the frame. Hunter Levesque then put a double down the right-field line, scoring both runners for Pitt’s sole runs of the game.
In the bottom of the fifth, trailing again by a run, BC put itself ahead for good. Mataya and Laviolette started their half of the inning with singles, and Kristin Giery sent a double into left, scoring Mataya from second and advancing Laviolette to third. With two outs, Gianna Boccagno singled to the shortstop, putting the Eagles up by a run at 3-2.
One run was all Anderson needed. She sat the Panthers down in order in the sixth and, after the bases were loaded with no outs in the seventh, escaped the inning with two smooth infield putouts at home plate and a strikeout to finish the game.
Featured Image by Aditya Rao / Heights Staff