Sports, Spring, Softball

Eagles Finish 2–3 in Joan Joyce Classic, End Tournament With Win

Heading into the weekend, Boston College softball had played two straight tournaments in Florida. On Friday, the Eagle took on their third Florida-tournament, this time in Boca Raton in the Joan Joyce Classic. 

BC started the tournament getting blown out 6–0 against Wisconsin in the first game of a Friday doubleheader. The Eagles (8–7), however, responded with a 2–1 win against Florida Atlantic University. On Saturday, the Eagles dropped their second game of the tournament, falling to FAU 4–3, and then their third with a loss to Villanova 5–0 in their second Saturday game. BC finished the weekend on a strong note, though, with a 5–1 win over the Wildcats.

After losing both games on Saturday, BC rebounded on Sunday with a decisive 5–1 victory over Villanova (6–9) behind strong hitting and a dominant Abby Dunning pitching performance. 

The first runs of the game occurred in the third inning. Maddy Carpe managed to reach third base on a passed ball and a Kali Case single. A reach on error allowed Hannah Silke to reach first base and scored Carpe. A wild pitch then sent Case home, and Abigail Knight and Nicole Giery each smashed in singles that drove in two more runs to put BC ahead 4–0.

BC cushioned its lead in the fifth inning. Knight scored after Erika Andal sent a single to the left side to bring the score to 5–0. And while the Wildcats scored one run in the top of the seventh inning on a sacrifice fly, the deficit was too much for them to overcome and the Eagles came away with the win.

Dunning struck out six batters through seven innings, giving up only four hits in the outing.

Saturday evening had nearly the reverse outcome, as the Eagles lost to Villanova 5–0. The Wildcats were powered by two Ryan Henry home runs. Henry knocked a three-run homer in the second inning to give Villanova a 3–0 lead, and followed that up with another home run in the sixth inning to drive in two more runs. 

BC struggled offensively, managing only two hits and scoring zero runs. Despite recording nine strikeouts, pitcher Halie Pappion still gave up six hits and five runs.

After defeating Florida Atlantic (9–6) Friday afternoon, BC was unable to replicate its success on Saturday, losing 4–3. Florida Atlantic took a 3–0 lead in the fourth inning that started when Olivia Peterson was hit by a pitch. Becca Jones then singled and Zoey Jones hit a double which brought Peterson across the play for the first run of the game. A Riley Ennis single knocked in the other two runs. But the Eagles were able to fight back, scoring two runs in the fifth on two throwing errors to come within one.

Knight chopped a single in the top of the seventh inning to drive home Case and tie the game. The game, however, would not stay tied for long. FAU’s Sommer Baker blasted a triple out to center field to open the bottom of the seventh inning, and first baseman Darien McDonough committed a field error that allowed Baker to score the winning run and hand BC the loss.

Friday afternoon also featured Dunning, as the sophomore struck out seven batters and allowed only two hits in seven innings.

The Eagles managed to squeak out a 2–1 victory on Friday afternoon behind Dunning’s performance to split the series with Florida Atlantic. BC opened the scoring with two runs from singles by Giery, Andal, and Maycee Hilt in the top of the fourth inning. But the Eagles then gave up a home run to Sara Berthiaume in the bottom of the fourth, cutting their lead to one.

Dunning maintained the lead for BC, only giving up one more hit in the fifth inning, and the Eagles walked away with their first win of the tournament. 

BC lost 6–0 to Wisconsin (6–6) in the first game of the tournament Friday morning. Brooke Kuffel hit a home run in the second inning to give Wisconsin a 1–0 lead, and then had an RBI double to center field in the fourth inning to put the Badgers up two. A sacrifice bunt by Peyton Bannon in the fourth inning increased the Badgers’ lead to 3–0. 

Wisconsin doubled its run total with a three-run seventh inning to close out the victory. Sussanah Anderson pitched 6.1 innings and gave up seven hits and six earned runs while throwing only two strikeouts in the loss.

February 26, 2023