No. 16 Hokies Softball Returns Home To Host Boston College

The Hokies return to Tech Softball Park on Friday to host Boston College. (Jon Fleming)

The No. 16 Hokies (28-9-1, 11-4 ACC) return home on Friday to host Boston College (25-13, 5-7). The homestand will mark the beginning of the final 15 games of the regular season for Virginia Tech, 10 of which will be played at Tech Softball Park.

Last weekend, the Hokies won two out of three at NC State, including run-rule wins by scores of 14-1 and 12-0 in the final two games. Meanwhile, the Eagles lost their first two games of their series to Pitt (4-0, 5-4) but salvaged the final game (3-2). They are coming off a 9-0 run-rule win over Bryant Wednesday afternoon.

Prior to its trip to Raleigh, Tech had swept ACC foes Notre Dame, Louisville and Pitt and was swept at Duke. On the other side, BC has won single games in series against Virginia and Clemson and took two of the three contests against Syracuse.

Here is the schedule of games and broadcast information:

The strength of this Boston College team is pitching. It has a team ERA of 1.94 and 23 of its 25 wins have come when it’s limited opponents to two runs or fewer. Its best wins were against Clemson (4-0), Virginia (1-0) and Florida Atlantic (2-0). The pitching staff has only allowed 14 home runs all season, but 12 of them have come in ACC games.

Junior Abby Dunning (11-8, 1.54 ERA) and sophomore Halie Pappion (8-4, 2.13 ERA) have started 33 of the Eagles’ 38 games and have logged 85 percent of the innings. In ACC contests, they have pitched 92 percent of the innings.

Abby Dunning leads the charge for the Eagles in the circle. (Boston College athletics)

Dunning threw three-hit shutouts against both Clemson and Florida Gulf Coast and a one-hit shutout vs. UVa. She limited the Cavaliers to one run and four hits in a second start, but her teammates gave her no offensive support and she lost 1-0.

Pappion opened the season with a shutout against LIU and followed it up with a no-hitter against Georgetown. She usually starts the second game in a three-game series but has a 5.78 ERA in ACC games. She pitched a two-hit shutout against Bryant on Wednesday.

Boston College is offensively challenged and ranks either last or second-to-last in the ACC in batting average (.257), runs per game (3.1), slugging percentage (.374) and on-base percentage (.331). As a team, it’s only hit 18 home runs. In conference-only games, its batting average is .216.

The Eagles have only two players hitting over .262. Junior catcher Hannah Slike is the Eagles’ leading hitter, batting .376. She leads the team in homeruns with six and RBI with 22. Senior Nicole Giery, a Virginia native from Madison High School in Vienna, is hitting .331.

The Hokies hold a 42-8 advantage in the series and have won the last 10 meetings. They swept the Eagles the last three times they met in 2022, 2019 and 2016. The last Boston College win was in 2015 in Chestnut Hill. Its last victory in Blacksburg: April 29, 2007. Tech’s won 12 in a row at TSP.

Here is the tale of the tape:

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  1. Not surprising BC’s pitching is strong. Head Coach Amy Kvilhaug was a pitching star at Providence College. She’s a solid coach who got her start at Radford before spending many years at St Johns. She’s a Boston native who has done a good job at a very difficult place to succeed. She tried to recruit my daughter at Radford where the official visit included a day at Claytor Lake.

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