Sports, Spring, Softball

Boston College Beats Syracuse 1–0, Earns First ACC Quarterfinals Berth Since 2008

With no outs in the top of the fourth inning, Hannah Slike cracked a line drive into the left-center field gap—a stand-up double for Boston College’s first hit in its game against Syracuse in the ACC Championship. 

The very next batter, Nicole Giery, hit a sharp ground ball that carried over the third base bag and on to the warning track in foul territory. Slike came in to score from second and put the Eagles up 1–0. 

Giery’s RBI double in the two-hit rally was the best offense either team would accomplish, and was the ultimate difference-maker in a game highlighted by solid pitching from both teams. 

With the 1–0 win, 9-seed Boston College (30–23, 10–15 Atlantic Coast) earned a victory over 8-seed Syracuse (28–23, 9–15) on Wednesday to advance to the second round of the ACC Championship, where the Eagles will take on 1-seed Duke. 

Syracuse starter Lindsey Hendrix was the first to take the mound in the pitcher’s duel, and set the tone for Syracuse. Hendrix retired the first nine batters she faced with great efficiency, throwing only 28 pitches in the first three frames. 

Unluckily Syracuse, BC starting pitcher Abby Dunning matched Hendrix’s performance. 

Dunning carried a no-hitter through almost five innings, until Olivia Pess singled on a hard-hit ground ball in the bottom of the fifth. Emma Jackson fielded the hit on a dive in shallow right field. 

The only other hit that Dunning allowed was a one-out single into center field for Kelly Breen in the bottom of the seventh. 

Dunning executed perfectly when it came to getting outs in runners-on situations. The Orange were a staggering 0-10 with runners on base and 0-5 with runners in scoring position. The batters that followed Breen were promptly retired in the bottom of the seventh, closing out a Dunning’s effective game. 

“[Dunning] has so many good performances, so it’s hard to say,” Boston College head coach Amy Kvilhaug said. “[Today’s performance] goes in the category of definitely one of the most monumental for Boston College.”

BC’s defense played a large role in keeping Syracuse’s offense silent, as it had to work with eleven fly balls and plays on hard-hit grounders, such as the backhand play made by Giery to end the game.

“Nicole Giery made a couple spectacular plays early in the game with that line drive she snagged, and then the last out of the game—I mean, that was a tough ball,” Kvilhaug said. “It’s just a quality defensive effort, which has won us a lot of ball games this year.”

BC’s win earned the Eagles their first appearance in the ACC Championship Quarterfinals since 2008, when BC beat Florida State. 

“I feel like we’re at that time of year where it’s like, you stay in the fight, you survive to play another day, and that is what every team right now in postseason is doing,” Kvilhaug said. “It’s just really doing what we’re doing. Pitch to pitch, inning to inning, you know, moment to moment, that’s what we’re all about right now.”

May 9, 2024

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