Until Friday in Raleigh, N.C., Boston College softball had not lost since Feb. 25, outscoring its opponents 38–11 during an eight-game winning streak.
But on Friday, the Eagles (15–8, 0–1 Atlantic Coast) snapped their win streak, losing 6–2 to NC State (8–17, 2–5) in its first conference game of the season. Starting pitcher Susannah Anderson struck out 11 batters, but BC failed to score a run after the third inning.
“We need to be more selective at the plate,” BC head coach Amy Kvilhaug said of the Eagles’ offense. “We have to make sure we are not chasing, that we have better at-bats.”
BC struck first, as sophomore designated hitter Hannah Slike ripped a home run to left field in the top of the first inning, giving the Eagles a 1–0 lead. It marked her fourth home run of the year. Her four home runs lead the Eagles this season and match her home run total from last season.
NC State, however, responded immediately when Amanda Hasler crushed a two-run home run set up by a walk to give the Wolfpack a 2–1 lead.
Kali Case reached first base on an error in the top of the third inning and managed to score due to multiple defensive miscues by NC State. Abigail Knight doubled to right center with two outs, but was left stranded on second, keeping the score tied at two apiece.
Anderson’s stellar performance became a bit shaky in the fourth inning, as she consecutively hit a player on a pitch, walked a player, and then committed an error to allow the Wolfpack to score an unearned run and take a 3–2 lead. Anderson then walked another Wolfpack batter, and shortstop Nicole Giery registered an error herself to give NC State another unearned run. A single then put the Wolfpack up 5–2 to close the inning.
“She put too many on base,” Kvilhaug said of Anderson.
Anderson then gave up one more run in the bottom of the sixth on a Wolfpack RBI double from Ellie Goins, ending Anderson’s day on the bump. Anderson recorded three earned runs, four walks, 11 strikeouts, and allowed four hits. Halie Pappion replaced her.
Kvilhaug also emphasized BC’s need to cut down on walks from a pitching standpoint. The Wolfpack scored three out of the six hitters that were walked, proving to be the difference in the 6–2 ballgame.
“We don’t want one swing of the bat putting up two, three, four runs,” Kvilhaug said.
Left fielder Erika Andal, however, went 3 of 3 at the plate, but didn’t score, reflecting the Eagles’ struggle to capitalize on opportunities.
With Abby Dunning on the mound for Saturday’s game, Kvilhaug said she sees an opportunity to even the series if Dunning can “keep the ball in the park.”
“We have an opportunity ahead of us to win the series,” Kvilhaug said.