The Drexel softball team is struggling so far this season, with a current record of 8-15 on the season and 1-5 in conference play.
Despite the team’s poor record, juniors Paige Collings and Hillary Allen have been performing to their potential, with .362 and .345 batting averages, respectively. Collings is not only hitting above average, but she’s also leading the team in home runs with six. She doesn’t stop there; Collings is also leading the team in runs batted in with 18 — but she isn’t satisfied.
“As a team I think we are still working toward reaching our potential,” Collings said. “We have come close many times, but we have struggled to maintain our consistency. I think the same trend follows for me individually. I know I need to be more consistent, especially at the plate.”
Allen is right behind Collings in the home run category, holding three. Allen isn’t just the second best hitter on the team; she’s also the ace of the pitching staff, boasting a 3.19 earned run average in 79 innings pitched. She has started 13 games so far this season, which is a little over half of the team’s total games, and has completed eight of those 13 starts.
Drexel traveled to Baltimore, Md. March 11 for the UMBC Dawg Pound Tournament and fared well. On the weekend, they went 3-2, beating Seton Hall, Coppin St. and UMBC.
The Dragons beat Seton Hall 8-2 with Allen getting the start. She threw five and a third scoreless innings, striking out six and walking five to improve her record to 3-2. She also had a good day at the plate, going 2-4 with two RBIs. Drexel blew the game open in the fourth inning, scoring four runs.
In the second game of the tournament, Drexel again showed their offensive talent, beating UMBC 11-3. Allen got the start once again, going six innings with one earned run and five strikeouts. This sealed the win and improved her to 4-2 on the season. She also helped her own cause by homering twice and driving in four runs.
In their second game of the day — third of the tournament — Drexel once again overpowered their opponent, beating Coppin St. 12-1. Drexel had a 10-run third inning in which they batted around the order to put the nail in the figurative coffin and wrap up with a good first two days of the tournament.
The Dragons cooled off on the final day of the tournament, dropping both games and only scoring four runs in total. Allen got the loss in the first game against Niagara even though she threw almost seven innings and only gave up three earned runs in the 5-1 loss.
Their second loss came courtesy of UMBC 5-3. The Dragons gave up five runs in the fifth inning to seal their 3-2 fate at the Dawg Pound Tournament.
The Dragons then traveled to Washington, D.C. March 22 to face Georgetown in a double header. Drexel split the series, losing the first game 2-4 and winning the second 4-2. Collings had a big game in the second tilt of the double header, blasting two home runs and driving in three. Freshman Shelby Taylor recorded the complete game win, striking out five while allowing two earned runs. She ran into a scare in the seventh inning when she gave up two runs that brought the Hoyas within two, but she got out of the jam for the win.
Drexel opened conference play the weekend of March 26 against Hofstra. The Dragons lost all three games during the weekend — 3-1, 6-3 and 12-0 — in what is their only series against Hofstra this season. Taylor took the loss in her first home start as a Dragon, allowing five runs on 10 hits while walking two batters. Drexel tried to start a rally in the sixth inning when Collings blasted a three run homer over the left field fence, her second of the day, to shorten Hofstra’s lead to three. Drexel couldn’t make up the extra ground and lost the game, ending the day 0-2.
Playing a team three times in two days is always tough, but beating the same team three times in two days isn’t easy either.
“It is always a challenge to play the same team three times in a weekend,” head coach Kim Camara said of playing conference games. “You get to know each other very well.”
Drexel continued their conference play against Towson. They opened the series with a split, winning 5-1 in the first game, but losing 7-0 in the second.
The Dragons couldn’t manage to close out the series. They lost the three-game stint by dropping the rubber game 7-0.
Allen got the only win of the series, going the distance yet again while giving up one run on six hits, walking three and striking out five to improve her record to 5-6.
Drexel ended the weekend 1-5 in conference play, but Camara doesn’t think the team should panic.
“Any team can beat any other team on any given day,” she said. “The top of the conference and the bottom of the conference are not separated by much.”
Coming up next, the Dragons will face Georgia State at home April 9-10 and two of their cross-town rivals in LaSalle (April 12) and St. Joseph’s University (April 14).