The Virginia softball team takes on Boston College this weekend hoping to bounce back from last week’s sweep at the hands of Maryland. Heading into the series, the team has had a rare full week off to practice at home, luckily during the seemingly first stretch of good weather this season.
There wasn’t much luck to be had last weekend in College Park though, as the Cavaliers (12-15, 1-5 ACC) dropped all three games to the Terrapins in very close fashion. In the first bout on Saturday afternoon, Virginia scored three quick runs in the top of the first inning without registering any hits, but gave up two to Maryland in the bottom of the frame and four more in the third to surrender the early lead. The Cavaliers were able to make it close with two runs in the sixth off a hit by junior designated player Karli Johnson, but ultimately lost 6-5.
The day’s second game saw Maryland explode for eight runs in the first three innings. Virginia was able to hit consistently and score runs, but was unable to keep pace with the Terrapins’ offensive outburst. The Cavaliers gave up only one more run the rest of the way, but still fell 9-6.
Sunday’s lone game saw Virginia fall behind again, forcing the team to attempt yet another rally. After tallying the game’s first run in the second inning, Virginia allowed six runs between the third and fourth frames. The team bounced right back with four runs in the fifth, including a three-run home run by Johnson to cut the deficit to one. However, both teams were held scoreless for the rest of the game, resulting in the second 6-5 loss for the Cavaliers in two days.
“We were pretty close on all three, but we weren’t on the top end,” coach Eileen Schmidt said. “We scored a bunch of runs, moved a lot of runners. The production was there, it’s just now putting together all parts of the game. It’s finding ways to get all three facets – offense, defense, pitching – together at the same time and we won’t be disappointed.”
Despite the losses, the team showed that it has the ability to stay competitive in any game and produce on offense. This series came after the Cavaliers found themselves in similar situations two weeks ago against Longwood and George Washington. In those three games, however, Virginia trailed in the sixth inning or later but won all three matches — two of them in extra innings.
“Now that we have played those games and have won late, we know what we’re capable of,” senior outfielder Taylor Williams said. “This past weekend when we came out early, we’ve seen that we can score anywhere in the game. I think what we need to do is just keep that in mind and try to have that consistent pace throughout the whole game.”
Up next, the Cavaliers face the struggling Eagles (8-15, 0-3 ACC). Boston College is having difficulty finding a winning formula, dropping three of its last four games and suffering a ten-game losing streak earlier this season.
“BC always comes feisty,” senior shortstop Alex Skinkis said. “They come down wanting to win. As long as we can keep the momentum on our side and keep it to our pace, we should be fine.”
Picking up wins and developing some consistency against Boston College this weekend will be vital as Virginia heads into the heart of its conference schedule. After a two-game midweek trip to George Mason Wednesday, the team plays a three-game series on the road against ACC power North Carolina.