Sports, Spring, Softball

Duke Mercy Rules BC in Three Consecutive Games to Take Weekend Series

By the middle of the third inning of Boston College softball’s matchup against No. 7 Duke, it was 7–0 in the Blue Devils’ favor, and BC had just gone down in order in back-to-back innings. The bottom of the third commenced, and Duke kept the ball rolling. The loudspeaker blared Queen and David Bowie’s “Under Pressure.” 

But under pressure, the Eagles’ struggles continued.

Duke’s 7–0 lead grew to 10–0, which held through the rest of the game, as the Blue Devils downed BC for the third time of the weekend. On Saturday, BC fell in similar fashion to Duke—in five innings by a score of 10–0—and prior to that, Duke toppled the Eagles 9–1 on Friday.

In to pitch for BC (14–17, 2–10 Atlantic Coast) after relieving Susannah Anderson in the second inning of Sunday’s game, Abby Dunning walked Francesca Frelick and hit Kamryn Jackson with a pitch, causing her to reach first. Then came Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me with Your Best Shot.” Jackson made her slow trot to first, and Dunning went on as Benatar’s lyrics hung in the background.

 “Hit me with your best shot / fire away.”

Duke’s (28–5, 11–2) demolition of the Eagles continued as Jameson Kavel hit a soft liner to center field that fell before Ellie Mataya could make the catch, loading the bases. Then, it was M.I.A.’s “Double Bubble Trouble” that came through the speakers. 

“Uh oh you’re in trouble / I step up in the game and I burst that bubble.”

Gisele Tapia walked, and Peyton Schnackenberg came in to replace Dunning on the mound. Deja Davis then hit a double to right center to score Kavel and Jackson. By the end of the third inning, the Blue Devils had tacked on another three runs to make it 10–0.  

Following Hannah Slike’s solo home run in the first inning of BC’s series opener on Friday, the Blue Devils scored 19 unanswered runs over the weekend. With their 10–0, mercy-rule loss to Duke to close the series on Sunday, the Eagles prolonged their slump, dropping their sixth straight game.

Even with Duke entering Sunday’s game with a .332 overall batting average, the first inning of Sunday’s game contained little action aside from one run from the Blue Devils. Kavel started things off with a single up the center and stole second. With Tapia on base due to a fielder’s choice, Kavel slid into third, and Ana Gold stepped up to bat. 

Gold hit a line drive into the glove of BC’s Kali Case in left field, rounding Kavel home for an RBI, and Caroline Jacobsen grounded out to halt the rally. 

While Anderson stopped Duke’s first-inning relay of hitters short, the Blue Devils capitalized in the second inning, recording six additional runs. 

Late in the inning, Rachel Crabtree doubled to deep center field over Gianna Boccagno’s extended arm, scoring Jackson and Kyla Morris. Then, Gold went down the line for her second home run of the series, and Kristina Foreman hit a homer to cap the two-out rally at 7–0.

The Eagles never found their mojo, and after Duke scored three in the third, Slike closed out Sunday’s game where she started on Friday—at the plate. Instead of homering, as she had on Friday, Slike grounded out, leaving two runners stranded to end the series. 

BC combined for five hits and three walks on Friday and Saturday and gave up a cumulative total of 18 hits and eight walks to the Blue Devils.

Dunning relieved Schnackenberg for 0.2 innings on Saturday and Anderson for one inning on Friday. The righty totaled one hit and three earned runs between the two affairs.

Schnackenberg threw 3.1 innings Saturday in her start on Saturday, accumulating 10 earned runs on nine hits, while Anderson recorded four earned runs on six hits, respectively, in Friday’s loss.

Mataya was the only Eagle to register hits in both Saturday and Friday’s games. Mataya prolonged her hitting streak Sunday, reaching base twice on singles in three at-bats.  

Featured Image by Nicole Wei / Heights Staff

April 3, 2022