The Drexel softball team sent their seniors off on a high note with an 8-3 win against conference rivals the University of Delaware (20-30, 9-9 Colonial Athletic Association) on Senior Day May 1. Seniors Kelly Downes, Katy Harrington, Ellen Boundy, Rachel Campbell and Laura Stagliano were all honored after the win.
“Our seniors are well respected by their teammates and they were really happy to be able to play well and get the win for them on their day,” head coach Kim Camara said.
Both Downes and Harrington went two-for-four and drove in some runs in the series finale May 1. Speedster Stagliano also made two diving catches in center field during the win.
The Dragons (14-26, 5-12 CAA) started the weekend series off with a pair of losses. Junior ace Hillary Allen got the start in Game 1. She gave up three earned runs on seven hits through five and one-third innings of work. Junior Paige Collings broke her single-season home run record in the seventh inning, giving her nine on the year.
“She’s really in the zone these past couple weeks,” Camara said. “It’s really important to have her in the middle of our lineup and hitting well because when we get our speed on base, it’s nice to have someone like [Collings] behind them.”
Drexel was down early in the game when a fielding miscue by Campbell cost them two runs in the first inning. She redeemed herself in the bottom of the first when she hit a three-run homer to put the Dragons ahead 3-2.
The seniors struck again in the bottom of the fourth inning when Downes hit a 2-2 pitch over the center field wall to tie the game at 4-4.
By the seventh inning, the Dragons were down 6-4 until junior Devon Metcalf hit a solo shot over the left center to bring Drexel within one run. The Dragons couldn’t come up with any more runs, and the game ended 6-5 in favor of the Blue Hens.
Drexel freshman Shelby Taylor took the loss in Game 2 after giving up four runs on one and one-third innings work. Taylor has gone through ups and downs during her freshman season, but she hasn’t been able to find her place in the starting rotation.
“As a freshman, it’s always difficult to step into a starting role, especially on the mound,” Camara said. “You go through a lot of learning experiences really quickly. Our conference is tough, there’s no doubt about it, and when you enter conference play, everyone comes ready to play.”
Taylor was pulled early in favor of pitcher Shyann Beach. The sophomore pitched well through three and one-third innings, allowing two runs on five hits. Unfortunately, the Dragons just couldn’t get anything going at the plate.
Allen also threw the final two and one-third innings as Drexel fell 6-0.
In the series finale against Delaware, Boundy, who has been hampered by injuries all season, started her last game at home. She threw the game’s first pitch and subsequently handed the ball off the Allen to for the rest of the game.
“It was a pretty emotional time, and that emotion turned out to be a good thing,” Camara said.
The Dragons exploded for seven runs in the first inning. Seniors Downs and Harrington both picked up two RBI’s in the inning. Collings hit a two-run single and Reading hit a two-run homer to put the Dragons up 7-0.
Drexel chased Delaware starter Kathleen Conway, who shut the Dragons out just a day earlier, out of the game after she recorded just one out. The Blue Hens scored three runs at the top of the third, but they couldn’t add any more as Allen recorded the complete game win.
Drexel will travel to Harrisonburg, Va. to play rivals James Madison University (27-22, 6-11 CAA) in their last action of the season.
“The Dragons are looking to end the season on a high note with wins this weekend,” Camara said. “James Madison is a team that we have fought with a little bit. They’ve played really tough the past few years, and there’s no doubt we want to go down to their place, play well, and finish the season on a high note so we can start next season in a good place.”