Softball spins wheels during frustrating week | The Triangle

Softball spins wheels during frustrating week

Senior righthanded pitcher Shelby Taylor works into her wind up during Drexel's 5-3 home victory versus Monmouth April 9. Taylor is 10-6 on the season on the mound and is hitting .298 with 23 RBI, tied for most on the team. (Greg Carroccio)
Senior righthanded pitcher Shelby Taylor works into her wind up during Drexel’s 5-3 home victory versus Monmouth April 9. Taylor is 10-6 on the season on the mound and is hitting .298 with 23 RBI, tied for most on the team. (Greg Carroccio)

The Drexel softball team’s bats were silenced by the University of Delaware in their April 5 doubleheader. The Dragons only surrendered two runs in each game, but were blanked twice, losing both games 2-0.

In game one, senior right-hander Shelby Taylor continued her recent run of providing tremendous pitching, scattering five hits over six innings of work and allowing just one earned run. She was victimized by poor run support and sub-par defense behind her.

Delaware got on the board in the third inning with an unearned run following an error made by junior Leticia Matsuoka. The Blue Hens took advantage of the extra out, and with one, not two outs, Jessica Grisler scored on a groundout.

For insurance, they tacked on a second run in the sixth inning after Lisa Stacevicz found the gap in right-center field for an RBI triple. Drexel did respond by making a threat in the seventh inning, bringing the go-ahead run to the plate trailing by two on the road. With runners on first and second and nobody out, the rally ended when the next three batters were retired.

In game two, the bats again failed to push a run across the board. Carolyn Szymanski was dominant on the hill for Delaware, allowing only three hits to the Dragons.

Drexel had its best shot of scoring in the top of the fourth inning when they loaded the bases. With two outs, senior Comfort Ahonkhai struck out to leave them loaded and end the threat.

The Blue Hens scored in the bottom of the inning, and again in the fifth inning on run-scoring singles. The next nine hitters were retired for Drexel and they did not put a runner on base for the rest of the game.

On April 6, Taylor carried the team both on the hill and at the plate to an extra-inning victory, 5-2. The senior pitched all nine innings, allowing two runs on ten hits.

Delaware struck first with a bases loaded walk by Grisler, forcing in the first run. The Dragons tied the game at one apiece in the fifth on a fielder’s choice by Matsuoka to snap the team’s 18-inning scoreless drought.

The game remained tied after the two sides played seven innings, forcing extra innings. In the top of the eighth it was Taylor, the Dragons’ hero of the day, who punched a base hit to left field, bringing home two runs. The team managed to score another pair of runs on junior Liana Newton’s two-run double for insurance before the inning was up.

With that important win in Newark in tow, the team — and its offense — was back on track. On April 9, the Dragons defeated Monmouth University, 5-3, behind Taylor’s 10th win of the season.

Although the game was played at Drexel Field, the Dragons were the visiting team as Monmouth’s field was ruled to be unplayable.

Taylor again carried the Dragons to victory both on the mound and at the plate. She used both her bat and her patient eye in the batter’s box, drawing a bases-loaded walk to score the game’s first run.

After surrendering the lead in the bottom of the fourth, she put the Dragons on top for good with a solo home run in the top of the fifth to make it 3-2. The Dragons added two more insurance runs on a throwing error in the seventh and hung on for
the 5-3 decision.

For the second time in her four-year career at Drexel, Taylor reached double figures in victories. She also pitched her fifth consecutive quality start, continuing her recent groove on the mound.

A recent groove that continued, at least, until Georgetown University paid the Dragons a visit Thursday afternoon at the Vidas Complex.

Taylor allowed just one hit to the Hoyas in the first two innings before surrendering three runs in the top of the third. Georgetown’s Samantha Giovenniello hit a double that brought in three runs to give her squad the 3-0 lead.

The Hoyas went on to score two more runs in the sixth inning and the seventh while the Dragons managed just a single hit through the first six innings of the game.

Down 7-0 with three outs remaining Drexel was able to manage three runs on a series of errors from the opponents in gray and white, but it was too little, too late.

The team plays again Saturday, April 12, in a double header at home versus James Madison.