Sports, Spring, Softball

Eagles Split Friday Doubleheader, Drop Series to Georgia Tech

Since its eight-game win streak earlier this season against non-conference opponents, Boston College softball has not won a series. In fact, the Eagles only had one win during conference play since that win streak until picking up their second ACC win against Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Ga. on Friday.

But BC’s ACC struggles continued against the Yellow Jackets, as the Eagles (18–19, 2–10 Atlantic Coast) split their doubleheader on Friday, losing the first game 5–1 and winning the second 4–3 due to some timely hitting and a three-run sixth inning. But BC couldn’t carry its momentum into Easter Sunday’s game, falling to Georgia Tech (20–19, 4–11) 10–2. 

“Stay the course, believe, stick to our plan, and to fight tooth and nail,” BC head coach Amy Kvilhaug said. “To continue to adjust and perform in key moments. We understand we must execute in key moments.”

In Sunday’s game, BC pitcher Abby Dunning replaced starter Susannah Anderson in the second inning after Georgia Tech went up 4–0 through 1.2 innings. Anderson ended the day with six earned runs due to a lack of command of the strike zone. She surrendered four walks in her limited outing. Dunning struggled with command as well, allowing three earned runs and five walks in four innings. 

The Eagles’ pitching staff surrendered twice as many walks, 10, as they did hits, five, in the game, allowing the Georgia Tech offense to capitalize with runners on base. The Yellow Jackets had three big innings, scoring three runs in both the first and second innings and four runs in the sixth inning, to win by the run-ahead rule 10–2.

BC’s only runs came courtesy of an Abigail Knight two-run homer to center field in the third inning.

Friday’s second game featured a resurgence from the Eagles offense at the right times. Down 2–0 in the fourth inning, junior Nicole Giery sparked the offense when she ripped a solo home run to center field to cut the Georgia Tech lead to 2–1.

A Georgia Tech home run in the fifth inning brought the deficit back to two. But with two outs in the top of the sixth inning, Kamryn Warman ripped a double and Zoe Hines was hit by a pitch to keep the inning alive.

With runners on first and second base, Maddy Carpe came through, knocking a double to left center field that scored both Warman and Hines, tying the game at three apiece. And after Carpe advanced to third on an Erika Andal single, Kali Case singled to give the Eagles a 4–3 lead, enough to notch BC the win.

“We stayed the course in game two and confidently believed we would make our way back into the game,” Kvilhaug said. “The mentality when down is to always pass the bat. We look to get runners on base and execute in key situations.”

Dunning continued her solid season in game two, as the sophomore pitcher threw all seven innings while allowing three earned runs and striking out six batters.

“She has been instrumental in so many of our games this season,” Kvilhaug said. “She is a competitor and believes she can beat anyone. When Abby is in the circle, we all know we have a good chance to win.”

After a scoreless first inning in game one of the series, it was the Eagles who struck first on a fielding error by Georgia Tech shortstop Jin Sileo in the top of the second, putting BC up 1–0.

Soon after, the Eagles had the bases loaded with two outs with leadoff hitter Hannah Slike at the plate. Slike, however, popped the ball up to the infield, where Sileo was able to end the inning with no significant damage done.

In the bottom of the second inning, starting pitcher Anderson ran into trouble, with runners on both second and third base with two outs. But she was able to escape the pressure with a strikeout to end the inning. 

But Anderson couldn’t escape the pressure that Georgia Tech placed on her all game. The Yellow Jackets took the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning when left fielder Emma Kauf pulled an Anderson pitch over the right field fence to put Georgia Tech ahead 2–1. The home run was Kauf’s fifth of the season.

Georgia Tech added some insurance runs with another home run in the sixth inning. This time, it was first baseman Abby Hughes who blasted a pitch to left field to give the Yellow Jackets a 4–1 lead. Kvilhaug then pulled Anderson from the game. Anderson allowed three hits, four runs, and four walks, and recorded four strikeouts through 104 pitches.

The Yellow Jackets quickly added another run in the sixth inning, as reliever Sofia Earle walked a batter with the bases loaded to make it 5–1. Freshman reliever Halie Pappion then replaced her and struck out the next batter in three pitches to end the inning.

BC’s hitters struggled all game and failed to record a hit until the seventh inning. Case attempted to start a rally with a single, but Georgia Tech’s starting pitcher Blake Neleman shut down the rest of the side, ending the game.

Neleman threw 125 pitches, allowing only one unearned run and recording nine strikeouts.

April 10, 2023