The Drexel University women’s softball team got off to a rough start this season at the Mercer Black and Orange Challenge with a loss to Eastern Kentucky University Feb. 23, and later that day, another loss to Mercer University, this time by shutout. These losses, however, helped the team bounce back and get multiple wins in the coming days.
The first matchup was a close one against Eastern Kentucky, but Drexel ended up still losing, 8-6.
However, Drexel had another chance to redeem themselves against Mercer University, but they came up short, losing 9-0. The Bears had an impressive start to the game, with a two-run home run in the first inning by Megan Lane. In the third inning, Mercer did the same thing again and got a double and followed it by a home run by Quirisa Mauga to get to a 4-0 lead.
The fourth inning is where Mercer blew up again and put their win away. These runs, however, came on singles and multiple errors, where a walk and double put two people on base, and Allie Jones then hit a single. This brought one run in, and an error in the field brought in two more runs.
Another walk and a wild pitch set up the runners for Lane, who hit a sacrifice fly to bring in one run, and Mauga, who singled the fifth run of the inning. The biggest highlight of the game was Mercer’s Megan Bilgri, who threw a perfect game for five innings, before Drexel broke that up.
The Dragons then moved on to face Radford University Feb. 24. This game was more exciting than the last due to the fact that it went into extra innings. The score was tied 1-1 after seven innings, which led to the eighth inning, where each team scored three runs.
Radford scored first with a solo home-run by Marissa Gagliano in the third inning. Drexel returned the favor with its own solo shot off the bat of freshman Kristi DiMeo in the sixth inning. In the eighth inning, Drexel started off with a RBI double by DiMeo, which scored fellow freshman Elena Woulfe.
The next batter, junior Taylor M. Lee, hit her first home run of the season, a two run shot to get the Dragons up 4-1. Radford came back with a two-run double by Talia Douglas, and Maggie Rowe hit Talia in with a single.
In the 10th inning, the Dragons got a one run lead with a sacrifice squeeze bunt by Woulfe. Radford would reply by getting runners on first and second with hit-by-pitches, and then walking them in for the tying and winning run.
Drexel really shined in their first game against the University of Akron Feb. 24, where they won 11-3. Drexel did not hesitate to start scoring, with an RBI double by sophomore Linda Rush and RBI single by DiMeo to score Rush.
The Zips did take the lead, with an RBI single by Kayla Kmett, and an errant throw by Drexel led to two more runs. Drexel came right back and took the lead, with RBI singles by Lee and Rush, and errors by Akron.
The Dragons retook the lead and scored five runs in the fourth. Lee came in clutch again by hitting a three-run home run to end the game. Freshman Katie January was given the win with her relief of other freshman pitcher Brooklyn Daly.
Drexel ended the week of play with another game against Akron Feb. 25. This game ended differently than the others, with a 1-1 tie due to torrential rain. Drexel would strike first, with sophomore Hannah Walker hitting a solo shot for the lead. The Zips returned the favor with a solo homer of their own to tie the game up. Drexel scored twice in the sixth inning to go to a 3-1 lead, but due to rain in the bottom of the sixth inning, the score reverted back to the bottom of the fifth inning, leaving the game as a tie at 1-1.
Drexel returns to play five games in the Stetson Tournament in DeLand, Florida March 2-4 where they will face Cornell University, Stetson University, Bethune-Cookman University (twice) and Tennessee State University.