Heading into Sunday’s game against No. 5 Clemson, Boston College softball faced a steep battle after dropping both of its games to the Tigers on Friday while giving up 15 total runs in the process.
With fans filling the stands and lawn of Harrington Athletics Village to watch the Eagles on a sunny Sunday afternoon, no upset was in store. BC (16–17, 1–8 Atlantic Coast) instead produced its fifth scoreless game of the year en route to an 8–0 loss to the Tigers (36–1, 12–0), who used a five-run third inning to secure the five-inning, run ahead-rule win. Sunday’s loss extended the Eagles’ losing streak to six games.
BC struggled at the plate all game long against Clemson ace Valeria Cagle. The Tigers, who boast the third-highest combined batting average and the lowest combined ERA in the NCAA, dominated on all fronts, with seven hits and no errors. BC, meanwhile, had only one hit and gave up six walks.
“Today I think Cagle came out and had a lot of good stuff,” BC head coach Amy Kvilhaug said. “What we could’ve done better, maybe swing at more strikes and we were just pounding the ball into the ground, we need to drive the ball through the middle.”
The Eagles’ starting pitcher Susannah Anderson allowed one hit and no runs in the top of the first inning, but failed to capitalize in the bottom of the inning. Cargle hit Abigail Knight with a pitch to advance Knight to first base, but Nicole Giery struck out looking and Kamryn Warman grounded out to end the inning with both teams scoreless.
Defensive errors in the second inning led to Clemson getting two players on base. Ally Miklesh then sent a double to left field to give the Tigers a 1–0 lead. Reedy Davenport followed with a perfect bunt to bring Arielle Oda home, doubling the Tigers’ lead.
Clemson continued its hot hitting in the third inning, striking the ball powerfully and finding gaps in the infield. Anderson struggled to find the zone, walking two batters to load the bases, and Clemson then scored its first run of the inning on a fielder’s choice at third.
Anderson’s shaky performance continued, as she walked two more batters to give the Tigers a 4–0 lead. Clemson, however, didn’t stop there, registering two more runs after Miklesh singled to right field. Abby Dunning then replaced Anderson, who let up a single to center field on her first pitch, allowing Clemson to go ahead 7–0.
But Dunning managed to escape with the bases loaded, striking out Cagle to end Clemson’s five-run third inning.
“Abby Dunning has been a rock for us this whole season and I think she has grown leaps and bounds from last year,” Kvilhaug said. “She’s just been executing and getting it done in the circle.”
BC couldn’t put anything together in response, going 0 for 3 in the bottom of the third inning, recording a pop-out and two ground outs.
Dunning pitched BC’s first hitless inning of the game in the fourth inning, walking one batter in the process. Zoe Hines knocked an infield single in the bottom of the inning, hustling to first base and managing to narrowly beat the throw. But she was less successful in her attempt to steal second base, getting thrown out to end the inning and keep the game scoreless.
Davenport capped off Clemson’s scoring in the top of the fifth inning by hitting a rocket of a home run to left field to extend the Tigers’ lead to eight. The Eagles went out quick in the bottom of the inning, failing to get on base, and the game concluded after five innings. It marked the first time the Eagles have failed to score since March 24.
“If you take this series on the whole I think we made a lot of strides with our offensive approach,” Kvilhaug said. “We scored seven runs against this team in a series, more than any other ACC opponent has.”