Sports, Softball, Spring

BC Inches Past Louisville in 3–2 Walk-Off Win

Sitting both at 7–14 in Atlantic Coast Conference play, Boston College softball and Louisville went head-to-head for a postseason spot heading into the final weekend of the regular season. 

It didn’t take for Louisville (26–24, 7–15 ACC) to get on the board in Friday’s matchup. In the top of the first inning and first at bat, starting pitcher Abby Dunning dished a walk for Louisvilles’ Daisy Hess to start the game. One batter later, Chelsea Mack bunted a single, advancing Hess to second. 

After one out, Bailee Richardson launched a home run to left field—marking her seventh home run of the season. Richardson’s run scored Mack off the play and gave Louisville a 2–0 lead going into the bottom of the first inning. 

Louisville held the Eagles to a 3-pitch inning as BC failed to convert on any plays. 

In the top of the second inning, the Eagles held Louisville scoreless. And it wasn’t until the bottom of the second inning when BC’s scoring drought would end. 

With two outs in the bottom of the second inning, Emma Jackson earned a walk—marking the Eagle’s first time on base in the game. But Jackson wouldn’t be the last to walk as three more Eagles would follow. In the next two plays, both Makenna Segal and Zoe Hines walked as BC’s bases were now loaded. Then after being hit by Alyssa Zabala again, pinch hitter Elisabeth Laviolette walked, scoring Jackson off of the play. 

The scoreboard now read 2–1 Louisville as BC stayed close within the matchup. 

“We talk a lot about staying in the moment,” BC head coach Amy Kvilhaug said. “If you have a good moment, celebrate it, if you don’t, then emote and get over it in five to 10 seconds and move on. Nobody is getting too down when things are not rolling in our direction. We believe in each other, and so we just fight until the bitter end.” 

The score remained 2–1 for play after play—going almost five innings with no additional home runs scored by either team. 

While the Eagles’ offense didn’t heat up until the later parts of the game, the Eagles’ defense held its own against the Cardinals. 

Gator Robinson caught a pop-out and secured an out at first in the top of the fifth inning. In the next inning, Dunning struck out Gabby Holloway with an electric fastball down the middle. Jules Shields then dove for the ball to end the inning, running at full stride to reach and catch the ball—preventing a sure double. 

Up until the sixth inning, both teams were searching for an edge with no success. Louisville even utilized two pinch hitters in the sixth inning. But even after giving up two walks in the top of the sixth inning, BC held Louisville scoreless. 

“I thought our defense was fantastic today,” Kvilhaug said. “We talked about that pregame, I said, “Let’s go out Let’s throw down a really good defensive game, which is more of the game you can control.’”

The Cardinals started the top of the seventh with a leadoff single. Segal ran in from first base to scoop up a ground ball, sprinting back to beat the runner and record the out. Louisville had a runner on third with two outs, a potentially game-changing moment. But the Cardinals failed to put any home runs on the board. 

And BC still had one more attempt to tie and possibly take the lead of the game. 

Beginning the inning, Shields had a leadoff walk. But the next two batters grounded out, and Zoe Hines represented the Eagle’s last chance to make a play as Katelyn Deguire pitch ran for Shields. 

And she delivered—scoring her first home run of the season. 

Firing a home run to left field, Hines gave BC a two-home run rocket and a 3–2 victory over the Cardinals.  

“It was absolutely huge for us today to see Zoe have that moment and to have Zoe have that moment,” Kvilhaug said. 

Following Hine’s walk-off home run, BC’s playoff dreams remained alive. 

“I was crying, legitimately crying,” Kvilhaug said. “I told the team I would be crying one way or another. I think this is the time of year when you need unsuspecting people to step up because, you know, our lineup wasn’t getting it done. When teams can do that, you have people who are not expected to do a lot, stepping up and winning ball games for you, teams are going in a good direction.”

 

May 4, 2024

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