Last season, Boston College softball kicked off its campaign at the Florida Gulf Coast University Kickoff Classic. The Eagles started the weekend with two assertive wins before hitting a skid, dropping two games, but then grabbing another win.
This season, the Eagles packed up for another trip down the coast, this time around for their second tournament of the year. Echoing last year’s performance, BC started the FGCU Tournament with two straight wins followed by two straight losses—defeating Lipscomb 13–2 and Middle Tennessee 4–3 on Friday but then falling to Middle Tennessee 8–2 and Florida Atlantic 6–4 on Saturday.
But unlike last year, the Eagles failed to end the weekend on a high note, losing the final game of the tournament to Florida Gulf Coast by a score of 9–3.
A Sunday win over Florida Gulf Coast (7–4) would have sent the Eagles (6–4) home with a winning record on the weekend. Maycee Hilt’s single scored two BC runs in the third inning but nine combined Florida Gulf Coast runs in the fourth and fifth innings permanently shifted the game’s momentum. BC responded with a run of its own in the sixth off a Maddy Carpe home run, but it didn’t make much of a difference, as the Eagles ultimately fell 9–3.
The Eagles couldn’t muster much more success on Saturday either. Two-and-a-half hours after the start of its first game, BC returned to the field to take on Florida Atlantic (5–5) in the second game of its Saturday doubleheader. Florida Atlantic jumped out to a lead early, with Becca Jones reaching home off an error, followed by pitcher Halie Pappion walking in a run to put BC down 2–0 in the top of the first inning.
BC clawed its way to a 4–3 lead in the top of the sixth inning after sophomore Darien McDonough smacked a single to centerfield, sending Hannah Slike and Alexis Dale home.
Florida Atlantic, however, responded with three runs of its own the next half inning and held on for a 6–4 win.
Facing Middle Tennessee (7–3) Saturday morning after beating the Lightning on Friday, BC couldn’t replicate its good fortune of the night before. Susannah Anderson got the start and pitched 4.1 innings, allowing six runs—two of them earned—on five hits.
The Eagles managed to keep things close through four innings, trailing only 2–0, before falling apart in the top of the fifth, as a BC error and two Lightning singles put Middle Tennessee ahead 6–0. The Eagles responded with two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning that started with a McDonough single, but it was too little too late, as BC fell 8–2, the first of three consecutive losses.
On Friday night, however, the Eagles capitalized on their early-season momentum. BC took the field against Middle Tennessee on Friday night in the second game of a doubleheader. Abby Dunning earned the start, lasting 2.1 innings and allowing three runs, two earned. BC managed just one run through the first six innings, as Middle Tennessee held on to a two-run lead until the seventh inning. Four shutout innings from Sofia Earle kept the Eagles in the game, and they capitalized at the last possible moment.
Down 3–1 in the top of the seventh, Slike slapped a double into center field with one out and runners on first and second. Only one run scored, but Slike had started a rally. Abigail Knight came up next and sent a ground ball into first baseman Ashlee Jacoway’s glove for the second out of the inning, but pinch runner Alexis Dale scored from third to tie the game at three. McDonough capped off the rally with an RBI double, propelling the Eagles to a 4–3 lead. Earle kept her shutout going, tossing her eighth strikeout of the game for the win—BC’s second of the weekend.
If Friday night’s win was a fight, the afternoon’s was a blowout. Anderson and BC’s defense allowed Lipscomb (2–5) two runs in the top of the second inning. But that’s all the runs the Bison would score thanks to Anderson and Pappion’s dominance on the mound. BC’s bats erupted in the bottom of the second, with Nicole Giery’s double and Knight home run bomb helping the Eagles score six runs. BC batted around the order in both the second and third innings, tallying all 13 runs along with 10 hits in the process. With a 13–2 lead after the top of the fifth inning, the Eagles earned their first mercy-rule win of the season.