After nearly a two-week layoff, the Drexel softball team made quick work and squeezed five games into just two days, closing out their February schedule. Playing in the Spartan Classic in Greensboro, N.C. Feb. 24-26, the Dragons were able to add to their total in the win column for the first time this season, winning two of the five contests.
They started out splitting two games Feb. 24, defeating Rider University 7-0 but falling to the University of Utah 8-2, in what was a rain-shortened five-inning game.
Hillary Allen tossed a four-hit shutout for the Dragons’ first win of the season. It didn’t hurt that teammates Paige Collings and Jenn Reading both had home runs.
The Dragons fell behind early to Utah and never recovered. The Utes put up all eight of their runs in the first four innings. Hanna Parrish picked up two of the four total hits for Drexel offensively. Caprice DeMirjian was able to score the first run for the Dragons with some small ball. She followed her leadoff walk by scoring on a passed ball, without the assist of any hit during her trip around the bases.
On the second day of competition Feb. 25, Drexel once again had split results. The Dragons fell to the hosting University of North Carolina-Greensboro 5-1 before topping Rider once again, 12-0.
Shelby Taylor was not able to pick up back-to-back wins, as she fell to UNCG as the losing pitcher. Allen surrendered only one earned run (two total) but was not able to make it out of the third inning.
Drexel only managed to put together four hits against UNCG. The team got its only run of the game when Sylvia Llamas drove home her double-play partner, shortstop Devon Metcalf, on a walk in the fourth inning. At the time, it cut the deficit in half and made it a one-run game, but UNCG would later score three insurance runs in the seventh to pull away with the victory.
Drexel bounced back in a big way against Rider by putting up 12 runs, including 11 in the first two innings. Maddison Timoteo and Metcalf each homered, and Parrish picked up three hits in her three at-bats from the leadoff spot.
Taylor had a comeback of her own by pitching a two-hit shutout just one day after falling to Utah.
Drexel outscored the Broncs 19-0 over the two-day span and outhit them 17-6.
For the final match of the Spartan Classic Feb. 26, the Dragons found themselves on the other end of a shutout — the losing side. Utah once again defeated them, this time by a score of 4-0.
Jessica O’Hara was tagged with the loss, allowing three earned runs in five and two-thirds innings. Offensively, Drexel could not provide any run support and backed her with just three hits.
The Dragons saw positive moments at the plate, in the field and on the mound over the weekend. The problem? These moments all occurred at different times.
“We have had great moments in hitting, pitching and defense. We just need to get them all to be consistent,” head coach Kim Camara said.
The Dragons appeared to be playing better in comparison to their 0-4 record at the Pirate Classic, just two weeks before the Spartan Classic. With that said, the team still has a lot of work to do and will look to improve its game as a whole.
“We need to pull all three aspects of the game together at the same time,” Camara said. “We are playing better each weekend. We just need to make some improvements at the plate and on the mound.”
The Dragons will take the field March 6 in Lawrenceville, N.J. for a doubleheader against Rider. There could not be a better opponent for the Dragons, as they will put their consecutive shutout streak against Rider on the line while working toward firing on all cylinders before conference play begins in a few weeks.
“We are playing well as a team,” Camara said. “We are all focused on our games Tuesday against Rider and look to continue forward in the positive direction.”