Sports, Spring, Softball

Despite Three Home Runs, BC Falls to Huskies 9–7

In a game that featured Boston College women’s softball hitting a season-high three home runs, the Eagles’ pitching inaccuracies—highlighted by its three used pitchers and nine earned runs—held BC back from snapping its three-game losing streak heading into Tuesday’s game against Connecticut in Storrs, Conn.

“We need to have better command,” BC head coach Amy Kvilhaug said. “Pitching struggled finding the zone at times.”

Despite an eventual strong offensive game, UConn’s 6–0 lead proved too much for the Eagles (15–11, 0–3 Atlantic Coast) to overcome, as BC fell to the Huskies (15–8, 4–2 Big East) 9–7 in each team’s first midweek matchup of the season.

Each team started a freshman pitcher—BC started Halie Pappion and UConn started Hope Jenkins—and the game was scoreless through the top of the second inning.

But the scoring immediately picked up in the bottom of the second inning, as the Huskies catapulted ahead to a five-run lead. Jana Sanden started the inning off with a double to right field, and Pappion subsequently struggled to find the strike zone, hitting two batters and walking another. Hitting the first batter, Savannah Ring, resulted in the bases being loaded, and the second batter she hit, Haley Coupal, brought home UConn’s first run of the night. Papillon’s walk then brought home another Northeastern run to make it 2–0.

“We put far too many people on base, via walks or hit batters,” Kvilhaug said. “We will improve and are better than that, but today it was our weakness.”

After Aziah James ripped a bases-clearing double, Abby Dunning replaced Pappion, and she ended the second inning with BC down 5–0.

The Huskies continued their hot streak in the third inning, as Savannah Ring reached first base on a fielder’s choice to score Sanden and put UConn ahead 6–0.

BC, however, came storming back in the fourth inning, an inning that featured the Eagles’ fourth straight inning with runners in scoring position, and this time, BC executed, starting off with a Kamryn Warman walk and an Erika Andal single. Freshman Meghan Schouten then cracked a three-run home run, her second home run of the season, to bring BC back into the ballgame.

Zoe Hines then made it back-to-back home runs when she hit one of her own on the very next at-bat for her first career home run, resulting in Delaney Nagy replacing Jenkins on the mound. But the Eagles went on to score two more runs, one on a wild pitch and another via a Nicole Giery single to tie the game at six apiece and conclude the four-hit inning.

“We spoke in depth before the game about going up to the plate with confidence,” Kvilhaug said. “We were chipping away until we were finally able to get some breakthrough hits. It was great to see us continue to get on base and then have Meg and Zoe connect for home runs in the inning.” 

Susannah Anderson came in to replace Dunning in the bottom of the fourth for her third relief appearance this season after Dunning allowed UConn to put runners on second and third base. UConn, however, scored two more runs off a walk and a hit batter on back-to-back at-bats. The hit batter marked the 19th time this season Anderson has hit someone with a pitch.

The Eagles’ offense failed to generate enough to climb back, as UConn’s third pitcher of the game, Payton Kinney, stranded BC with bases loaded after a 28-pitch fifth inning, maintaining the Huskies’ 8–6 lead. Kali Case and Maddy Carpe both struck out looking to end the inning.

Hannah Slike recorded her fifth home run of the season and BC’s third of the game in the sixth inning when she homered to left center, but that would be the last run that the Eagles scored Tuesday afternoon, as a scoreless seventh inning sealed their loss and brought their losing streak to four games.

“We were pleased to see our offense punch back down six runs,” Kvilhaug said. “We thought that showed a lot of character and grit. We just couldn’t get enough to score more than they did today.”

March 22, 2023