Win streaks aren’t something that are easy to maintain. There’s a different type of pressure that comes with continued success, and many teams succumb to the high expectations.
Boston College softball (12-28, 7-19 Atlantic Coast) was clearly not impacted by this phenomenon on Friday against Louisville (17-24-1, 11-18-1), as BC achieved a season-best four-game win streak with a 3-1 decisive victory over the Cardinals.
The Eagles’ energy both in the dugout and on the field was palpable. For their last home series of the season, it felt as though both the offense and defense were finally working in unison to secure a win.
It took until the second inning to get any scoring going, as Louisville struck first in the top of the frame. Three successive singles were enough to push across a run, but Susannah Anderson limited the damage by inducing a groundout and a strikeout to end the inning.
BC responded quickly with a run of its own in the bottom of the second. Gianna Boccagno doubled down the left-field line, and Kennedy Labshere knocked her in with a double of her own.
Labshere put on an electric performance on Friday, as she batted 3-for-3 with two doubles and two RBIs for a career-best performance. After a pinch-hit home run on Wednesday, Labshere earned her way into the starting lineup for Friday’s game.
One run was all Louisville would score, as impressive defensive plays and sound pitching from Anderson forced the visitors to strand seven runners over the course of the game. While the Cardinals produced nine hits, the lack of timely hitting limited their offensive performance.
After a double from Makayla Hurst put two Louisville runners in scoring position in the third inning, a sliding grab from Nicole Giery on a ground ball recorded the final out of the inning and eliminated any threat from the Louisville offense.
A timely offensive change from BC head coach Amy Kvilhaug paid off in the fourth inning. After a Gianna Randazza single, Kvilhaug opted to add more speed on the bases through pinch runner Erika Andal. Labshere doubled yet again for the Eagles, and Andal’s speed allowed her to score from first base.
BC’s insurance run came in the form of an Ellie Mataya home run in the fifth inning. Mataya’s display of power came to the pleasant surprise of her teammates, whose voices erupted from the dugout as the ball cleared the right-field fence.
Anderson only allowed one hit in the last three innings of the game for her 15th complete-game performance this year. As a junior, Anderson has solidified her name as a dominant pitcher in the ACC.
Featured Image by Ikram Ali / Heights Editor