Sports, Spring, Softball

Virginia Hands Eagles First ACC Series Loss of 2024 Season

After a string of tournaments to start the 2024 season, Boston College softball (10–7, 1–2 Atlantic Coast) opened up conference play over the weekend against Virginia (13–5, 2–1). Despite taking a 1–0 win in the first game of the series, the Eagles dropped the next two games and picked up their first series loss of the season.

On Sunday, Virginia handed the Eagles its second-straight loss, giving the Cavaliers the series in a low-scoring matchup. Abby Dunning pitched for the Eagles, and despite logging six innings in which she allowed just four hits and one earned run alongside seven strikeouts, BC’s offense did not back her up, and Virginia handed the Eagles a 1–0 loss. 

Dunning’s only allowed run came in the sixth inning, when she allowed a single and hit a batter with a pitch before Jade Hylton knocked Leah Boggs in with a single to left center. The Eagles offense, on the other hand, was shutout, picking up just four hits and leaving six runners on base. 

Coming off of a victory to start ACC play, the Eagles looked to earn its first series win of the season in its Saturday matchup against the Cavaliers. But an eight-run inning for Virginia in the fourth inning put that thought to bed, as the Cavaliers rebounded from their low-scoring loss on Friday with an 8–2 victory.

The Eagles wasted no time putting a run on the board. In the top of the first inning, Nicole Giery walked after working a full count and Hannah Slike notched a single up the middle, also on a full count, to move Giery to second. Jules Shields brought Giery home when she singled up the middle and the center fielder tallied an error, allowing the Eagles to make it a 1–0 game headed into the bottom of the first. 

The Eagles picked up their second run of the game in the top of the third when BC took advantage of poor fielding from the Cavaliers. Slike started the inning with a single, and then Shields reached on a fielding error. After that error, Virginia began to fall apart. Jordan Stephens reached first on a fielder’s choice which resulted in a throwing error, loading the bases. The Cavaliers then allowed a self-inflicted run after a failed pickoff attempt allowed Slike to trot home to make it 2–0 BC.

Virginia woke up in the bottom of the fourth and tallied eight runs, which were split between BC’s pitchers Hallie Pappion and Addison Jackson. A double to left center opened the inning, and Virginia picked up eight base runners before the Eagles could even record an out. Virginia scored all eight of its runs in the frame, and BC never recovered.

On Friday afternoon, the Eagles kicked off their series against Virginia with a low-scoring pitchers duel, in which BC and the Cavaliers combined for just two total hits and three walks. BC walked away with the 1–0 win to open up the series.

Abby Dunning took to the mound for the Eagles and dominated the Cavaliers’ offense through seven innings, picking up seven strikeouts on 83 pitches. The only hit that Dunning allowed came in the fifth inning when Bella Cabral logged a single. But Dunning escaped the inning unscathed and kept BC’s one-run lead. 

The Eagles scored that run in the top of the second inning when Emma Jackson tallied a single that brought Jordan Stephens home. That run was enough for the Eagles to kick off its first conference series of the season with a win.

March 4, 2024