The Boston College softball team saw its season come to an end after falling to Florida State 6-0 in the quarterfinals of the 2013 ACC Softball Championship. The Eagles could only muster five hits on the day and the 'Noles plated three runs in the first inning and never looked back.
Certainly no shame in falling to the top-seeded Seminoles in Tallahassee, but the Eagles' 2013 campaign can hardly be considered a success. The program finished 14-38 on the year and just 2-19 in conference play. The 2-19 conference record is the worst in the program's eight year history in the ACC, while the 14-38 overall mark represents the second worst season by winning percentage in program history (and only .019 percentage points higher than BC's 5-15 campaign in its inaugural season in 1984).
Head coach Ashley Obrest (BC '07) is only in her second year at the helm of the program and deserves time to turn this around, but this is yet another varsity program trending in the wrong direction. The program's downturn, much like baseball, couldn't come at a less opportune time with a pair of top 50 programs -- Louisville (45-10) and Notre Dame (41-12) -- set to join the conference over the next two years.
The first question that immediately pops up when discussing the future of softball is that of facilities. With any luck, the promised strategic plan addresses the facilities issue for both the baseball and softball programs (though we've been hearing about the new baseball/softball stadium for years now). I'm afraid that given the Alumni Stadium bubble collapse this winter, the second in four years, calls for a permanent indoor practice facility will drown out those for the new Brighton Campus ball field when both are critical and necessary investments for the athletics department.
If the rise of the women's lacrosse and field hockey programs or the continued success of the men's and women's soccer programs are any indication, a modest investment in facilities and staffing can go a long way towards fielding competitive varsity programs that can compete for conference titles.