Sports, Spring, Softball

Eagles Notch Their First ACC Series Sweep of the Season

Boston College softball did something this weekend it hasn’t done all season—it won an ACC series.

And to make it sweeter, the Eagles accomplished another feat, as they swept an ACC opponent in a three-game series for the first time since 2018. 

BC (24–28, 6–18 Atlantic Coast) found some magic in Syracuse and downed the Orange (23–25–1, 7–15–1) in all three games of the weekend set, punctuated by a strong performance from Abby Dunning on Sunday. On Saturday, BC rallied in the seventh inning to even the score before its bats exploded in extra innings to win 6–2, and the Eagles used a key two-out rally to upend the Orange 4–2 in the series finale on Sunday.

“No better way to finish a season [than] on a winning note,” BC head coach Amy Kvilhaug said.

In the series and season finale on Sunday, Dunning continued to dominate Syracuse’s lineup in the circle as she did on Saturday. She threw a complete game and allowed two earned runs on six hits and two walks.

“[Abby] didn’t have the pinpoint command of her rise and change the way she did the other day, but she found a way to continue to get hitters out,” Kvilhaug said. “This was a gutsy performance for our ace.”

The Eagles jumped out to a 3–0 lead thanks to a big second inning. Kali Case hit an RBI double that was followed by a Giery two-run single to give BC the quick advantage. All three runs were scored with two outs. 

“Two-out hitting embodies our ‘pass the bat’ mentality,” Kvilhaug said. “Along with giving us the early lead, it also showed our ability to come through in clutch ways.”

The Orange responded in the fourth inning, plating two runs after the first three hitters of the frame all reached base. Angel Jasso drove in a run with a double before another run scored on a wild pitch. Dunning limited the damage, however, retiring the next three batters to escape the inning with BC up 3–2.

“Abby showed a great deal of grit and determination [today],” Kvilhaug said. 

Dunning continued to post zeroes, and BC received an insurance run when Knight homered to right field in the top of the seventh inning. The 4–2 score stood, and the Eagles took the brooms out on the Orange. 

“It was certainly a lively and enjoyable bus ride home,” Kvilhaug said. “This weekend definitely gives us momentum as we begin to prepare the program for the 2024 season.”

Hannah Slike gave the Eagles an immediate lead on Saturday, driving in Abigail Knight with a double in the first inning. But this lead was erased quickly, as Jasso launched a two-run home run in the bottom half of the inning to make it 2–1. Jasso finished the game with three of Syracuse’s five total hits. 

Syracuse didn’t touch BC starting pitcher Susannah Anderson after that point. Anderson tossed 7.1 innings on the day, allowing just two runs. Syracuse starting pitcher Madison Knight matched Anderson’s effort, largely silencing the Eagles’ bats until the top of the seventh inning. 

With two outs and a runner on first in the seventh, Meghan Schouten roped a ball to right field for a double. Knight came all the way around to score and knot the game at two apiece.

Anderson and Dunning combined to shut down Syracuse’s lineup in extras, with Dunning replacing Anderson in the top of the eighth inning.

BC’s decisive blow came in the ninth inning when Nicole Giery blasted a solo home run over the wall in center field for her fifth home run of the season. The Eagles tacked on three insurance runs when Zoe Hines hit a bases-clearing double to make it 6–2. 

“We battled through some tough situations and made key plays, pitches and had the clutch hitting that is necessary to secure wins,” Kvilhaug said. 

Dunning hurled a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth to nail down the victory for BC.

May 8, 2023