Heading into the 2023 season, Boston College softball hadn’t won its opening series of ACC play since 2017—when the Eagles, who went 31–22 that year, won two games of a three-game series against Virginia to open ACC play.
This season, BC continued that streak.
After dropping the first game of the series on Friday, NC State (10–17, 4–5 Atlantic Coast) defeated the Eagles (15–10, 0–3) in the second two games of the series, as BC lost on Saturday and Sunday by scores of 8–4 and 3–2, respectively, ending an eight-game win streak heading into the series. This marks the first series loss for BC this season.
In Sunday’s narrow loss, the Eagles had the lead heading into the final inning but let up two Wolfpack runs, causing BC to drop its third straight game.
To start the game, BC let up one run in the first inning after the Wolfpack immediately loaded the bases from two Susannah Anderson walks and a hit by pitch. NC State then struck first with a ground out that led to Rebecca Murray scoring. Anderson, however, delivered back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning and escape with just a 1–0 deficit.
“I think we need to start putting a lot less people on base with free passes,” BC head coach Amy Kvilhaug said. “Way too many walks and hit batters this weekend.”
In the fifth inning, BC’s Erika Andal scored off a Kali Case bunt to tie the game at one apiece. And then in the top of the sixth, Kamryn Warman recorded an RBI single to give the Eagles a 2–1 lead, their first lead of the game.
But BC’s 2–1 lead heading into the seventh inning didn’t last long, as the Wolfpack surged ahead for the walk-off win. The scoring started when Makayla Marbury sent a sacrifice fly to right field to tie the game at two. Needing just one more out to send the game to extra innings, Anderson let up a Madison Inscoe ground ball up the middle, thrusting NC State into the winning column for the series sweep.
Anderson pitched 6.2 innings in the loss, giving up four hits, three runs, and five walks.
The Eagles dropped their first game of the weekend to NC State on Saturday by a score of 8–4, their second straight loss to the Wolfpack. Starting pitcher Abby Dunning, who boasts a 1.87 ERA, the lowest on the team, earned her first loss of the year.
Nicole Giery and Hannah Slike both singled in the first inning, and Wolfpack starting pitcher Aisha Weixlmann then threw a wild pitch to give BC a 1–0 lead. The game marked Slike’s eighth straight game with a hit. The inning, however, ended with two BC players left on base, as Andal grounded out with two outs.
In the bottom of the third inning, Katlyn Pavlick blasted a three-run homer to give the Wolfpack a two-run lead. A bases-loaded walk then extended NC State’s lead to 4–1.
“If anybody even makes a minor mistake, when pitching is putting that many people on base, it can open the floodgates,” Kvilhaug said. “I think that we need to make the plays and I think that we need to put less people on base.”
NC State extended its lead in the fifth inning, as Marbury ripped a double, stole third, and then scored on a wild pitch. Dunning’s wild throw led to another Wolfpack run, and Sofia Earle subsequently replaced Dunning. Haley Haislip, however, immediately hit a two-run homer to give NC State an 8–1 lead.
The Eagles made a slight comeback in the top of the seventh inning, but it was too little too late. Giery rocketed a three-run homer to bring BC within fourth, but that’s all BC could garner, falling 8–4. Saturday marked the third time the Eagles have given up eight or more runs this season.
“Everybody in this conference is coming to play, no matter where people finished last year or where people finished in the preseason,” Kvilhaug said. “It’s gonna be the battle of who makes the least amount of mistakes. ”