Summer-time Is Here For Eagles
May 5, 2000
Chestnut Hill, Mass. - Long-distance relationships are often a hard thing to manage, but the Boston College softball team has a pretty good thing going with the state of California.
The Eagles will have six California natives in uniform when BIG EAST Tournament play opens Friday morning, including four starters. The Sunshine State will play a major role in deciding whether Boston College can win its third BIG EAST tourney title in four years - and junior catcher Summer Jarratt, who hails from Los Angeles suburb Manhattan Beach, will be a particularly big key for the Eagles.
Jarratt, who was a Northeast All-Region selection as a sophomore, says life on the east coast has grown on her over the past three years.
"I was looking to go away," says the tri-captain. "I had been in California all through high school, and I was definitely looking for a change. I thought I'd wind up going back after four years, but now I'm definitely considering staying out here. I like the city of Boston."
Of all the schools on the east coast, though, why did Jarratt decide to come to Chestnut Hill?
"This was the best academic school I could have gotten into," says Jarratt, "and I felt the most comfortable here. It was sort of an instant feeling."
And how do the Eagles manage to snag so many California girls?
"I think winning the BIG EAST Tournament two and three years ago helped," Jarratt says. "Once people see that you have good players, it makes you more legitimate. It's hard to get kids to come out here. I was recruited by St. John's and Seton Hall and places like that, but I had never heard of them then. Winning the BIG EAST was definitely a big deal."
As for this upcoming weekend, Jarratt is especially enthusiastic.
"I've never been this excited about playing a game before," she says. "The crowds are going to be huge, and there's so much more incentive just because we're here. We want to win more than any other year, because we're at home, and because of the chemistry of this team."
Just about everyone on the roster agrees that this year's players have a special chemistry, where class does not make a difference.
"I feel on an equal level with the seniors and the freshmen," says Jarratt. "Being a captain (as a junior) isn't really a big deal. Lauren (Fischetti) aren't really too vocal anyway. I just try to lead by the way I play."
So far, she's done a pretty good job of that. Though her hitting numbers have dipped slightly from a year ago, Jarratt has been just as big a part of this team as ever, starting every game and playing error-free defense behind the plate.
"I was disappointed and a little frustrated (offensively), but it made me want to do the job defensively," says Jarratt. "I didn't know if I could catch all the games - it's a long season - so I'm happy I've been able to do that. We've all had to pick it up defensively, and we're so much stronger this year, especially up the middle. We can't afford to make errors. We work hard on defense."
That work helped the Eagles set a BIG EAST single-season record for fielding percentage at .984, as they committed just seven errors in 16 league games. As the bats start to come around, Jarratt feels good about her team's chances this weekend.
"I think the team's peaking right now," she says. "We're putting it all together right now, and everyone has lots of confidence. Even though we're the fourth seed, I think we have a better chance this year than we have in the past."
Considering the recent tournament success enjoyed by Jarratt and the Eagles, those chances are pretty good.