Tech, BC split first two games of ACC-opening series

Boston College used two big innings to end a long losing streak against Georgia Tech on the softball field.

The Eagles broke up a scoreless game with a five-run third, then exploded for an eight-run fifth of a 13-3 victory in five innings Saturday at Mewborn Field.

The loss snapped a 16-game losing streak in the series for Boston College (7-5), which after dropping the opener earlier in the day, defeated the Yellow Jackets for the first time since April, 2009.

The offense carried the Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts school in game two.

Boston College was clinging to a 5-3 lead and had one out with no one on in the fifth before things got out of hand for the host Yellow Jackets. Starting with the first of two walks in the inning to Tory Speer, 10 consecutive batters reached base with Tatiana Cortez’s grand slam making it a 9-3 game. That chased Tech starter and losing pitcher Kanani Cabrales (4 1/3 IP, 9 ER), but reliever Karly Fullem didn’t fare much better. The right-hander gave up consecutive singles to Madison Paulson and Taylor Coroneos and a walk to Megan Cooley to re-load the bases, and Jessie Daulton’s two-run double put the Eagles up 11-3.

Nicole D’Argento, who started and got the win, helped her own cause with a two-run double in the third, part of a nine-batter frame that gave Boston College a 5-0 cushion.

Tech got Ashley Thomas’ team-leading fifth home run in the bottom of the third to get to within 5-1, then Maddie Lionberger’s two-out, two-run single in the fourth made it a 5-3 game.

D’Argento pitched four innings of seven-hit ball to get the win.

The Yellow Jackets used the long ball to take the opener 6-1.

Alysha Rudnik crushed a two-run home run in the bottom of the first to give Tech all the runs it would need, but the hosts weren’t done getting to D’Argento.

The right-hander surrendered Lionberger’s two-run shot that snuck out over the left field wall in the second that made it a 4-1 game. Rudnik struck again in the fifth, ripping a line drive, two-run home run to right field and the Yellow Jackets had a commanding, 6-1 cushion.

That was more than enough for Kylie Kleinschmidt, who tossed a complete game, four-hitter. The right-hander put Tech in a 1-0 hole when Cooley drew a walk to start the game and three batters later, Speer doubled off the wall for an early advantage.

Kleinschmidt gave up just four more baserunners after that, though she appeared to be helped by a generous strike three call against the dangerous Speer that stranded a pair of runners in the third.

D’Argento took the loss in the first game, while Kleinschmidt, making her ninth start, stayed unbeaten at 8-0.

The teams will play the rubber game of the Atlantic Coast Conference-opening series Sunday at 12 pm.