In Amy Kvilhaug’s three seasons as Boston College softball’s head coach, the Eagles have never produced a winning season.
While the 2022 season featured BC finishing 20–27 (6–18 Atlantic Coast), it was a seven-win improvement from the Eagles’ 13–32 2021 season and featured three Eagles—graduate pitcher and captain Susannah Anderson, senior outfielder Ellie Mataya, and sophomore catcher Hannah Slike —earning All-ACC honors.
BC opened its season on Friday and finished 4–1 over five games in the USF Tournament for its best season start since 2017. With 47 games left to play, BC will look to build on this progress and finish with a winning record for the first time since 2018.
It’s never a good thing to lose your strongest hitter from last season—especially when that hitter led the team in nearly every major batting category. The Eagles will be without center fielder Mataya, who is using her graduate year of eligibility to play for Michigan after starting all 47 games for BC last season.
Mataya led the Eagles in 2022 in batting average with a .353, slugging percentage with a. 497, runs scored with 23, hits with 54, walks with 16, stolen bases with 11, triples with four, and tied with Slike in total bases with 76. She was voted to the All-ACC Third Team last season.
BC also said goodbye to four seniors—pitcher Schnackenberg, first and third baseman Kennedy Labshere, first baseman and outfielder Kristin Giery, and catcher and third baseman Gianna Boccagno. Schnackenberg threw 93 strikeouts in 109 innings—including seven complete games—and posted a 4.56 ERA. She’ll play at Villanova as a graduate transfer this season.
Labshere batted .231 with 24 hits in 104 at-bats and registered a .985 fielding percentage in 45 games in the infield.
Giery batted .220 during her senior season, with six RBIS. She finished the season with a 1.000 fielding percentage.
Boccagno, an offensive and defensive loss, threw out seven baserunners for a 29.1 caught stealing percentage as a catcher last season. She led the team in home runs in 2022 with seven. Boccangno will play the 2023 season at Arizona State.
The return of Slike and Anderson is critical for BC’s success in 2023. Anderson started 22 games as the Eagles’ ace in 2022, posting a 2.83 ERA and 96 strikeouts over 141 innings, earning her All-ACC Third Team honors. Anderson will return once again as BC’s clear ace in her fifth season.
As a freshman in 2022, Slike started all 47 games and led BC’s roster in at-bats with 154, doubles with 13, RBIs with 23, and extra base hits with 19—good enough to earn a spot on the All-ACC Freshman Team. While she will likely split catching duties with senior Maddy Carpe, Slike will look to improve upon her already successful college career.
A new crop of freshmen will look to fill the void left by the departures of last season’s seniors. The Eagles’ freshman class—made up of pitcher Halie Pappion, outfielder Aleyah Terrell, pitcher Gabby Aughton, catcher and first baseman Maycee Hilt, and infielder Meghan Schouten—is ranked No. 26 in the nation, according to Extra Inning Softball. The incoming class will add athleticism and depth to the Eagles’ lineup.
BC also acquired graduate pitcher Sofia Earle as an offseason transfer. Earle played four years at St. Mary’s in Moraga, Calif., where she recorded 138 strikeouts during the 2022 season—42 more than any BC pitcher recorded last year. Earle earned a 3.23 ERA and three shutout wins in 2022. Earle will join a possible rotation of Anderson, Pappion, Aughton, and returning starter and relief pitcher Abby Dunning.
Knight, who recorded an OPS of .702 along with 40 hits as a junior last season, will join Slike in leading BC’s offense heading into the 2023 season.
The Eagles begin the 2023 season with three tournaments and 14 games all set in the sunshine state—the USF Tournament in Tampa, Fla., the FGCU tournament in Fort Myers, Fla., and the FAU Invitational in Boca Raton, Fla. BC finished 4–1 in the season-opening USF tournament.
BC will make its home debut when it takes on Merrimack at the Harrington Athletics Village on March 14. The Eagles will play the Battle of Comm. Ave. against Boston University on the Heights on April 14.
The Eagles will open ACC play against NC State on March 17. They’ll play eight total conference series, with an even distribution of home and away contests.
Clemson and Duke will be particularly tough teams for the Eagles, as USA Today has the Tigers and Blue Devils ranked in its preseason top 20. The Eagles will close out their regular season in upstate New York in a three-game series against Syracuse from May 5 to May 7.