April 13, 2012 by John ChagarisThe Drexel softball team has found itself on a bit of a hot streak. The Dragons have finally been able to get their bats going on a consistent basis, giving their pitchers the run support they’ve been yearning for all season.
“We were always hitting. Now we are just stringing them together a little more and hitting with some more confidence,” head coach Kim Camara said. “We seem to be hitting our stride offensively just at the right time.”
The Dragons hosted a three-game series against rival Towson University (16-21, 3-6 Colonial Athletic Association) and came away with a 2-1 series win. The Dragons continued their winning ways with a 10-2 trouncing of crosstown rival La Salle University (6-27, 0-8 Atlantic 10).
Senior Hillary Allen got the start in Game 1 of the April 9 doubleheader. Towson struck first in the top of the second inning, but the Dragons answered right back with two home runs by freshman infielder Sylvia Llamas in the bottom of the inning. Allen and the Dragons’ defense shut down the Tigers for the rest of the game. Drexel only gave up five hits in the game, while Allen struck out seven batters, going the distance in the 2-1 win.
Sophomore Shelby Taylor got the start tn the second game of the doubleheader. The Dragons struck first in the bottom of the second inning. Both Llamas and sophomore catcher Maddison Timoteo successfully reached base to start the inning. Senior infielder Caprice DiMirjian then hit both runners in with the help of a Tigers error, giving Drexel the 2-0 lead.
Towson finally got on the board in the fifth inning when Taylor walked the first batter she faced and then gave up a two-run home run to bring the game to a 2-2 tie. The Dragons responded in the bottom half of the inning by scoring one run to regain the 3-2 lead. The Tigers tied the game in the top of the seventh inning, but the Dragons prevented the game from going into extra innings when a Towson infielder misplayed a ball hit by junior Hanna Parrish to bring home the winning run. Taylor was awarded the win to bring her record to 9-7 on the season.
The Dragons didn’t fare well in the final game of the series. Allen got the start once again, but the story of the game was Towson junior pitcher Katie Lingmai, who threw a no-hitter. Lingmai’s day didn’t get off to an ideal start, however. Parrish led off the bottom of the first inning when she popped a ball up to right field. The right fielder misplayed the ball and committed an error that would allow Parrish to reach third base. That was the Dragons’ best scoring opportunity of the day, while Lingmai allowed just one more baserunner in the 0-2 Drexel loss.
“I thought we played very well against Towson. They were three well-played games by both teams,” Camara said. “This is a tough conference, and Towson is a tough team. To beat a team three times is difficult, so we are happy to walk away winning the series.”
After a few days of rest, the Dragons returned to action April 10 to host La Salle. Taylor got the start against the crosstown rivals, but the star of this game was senior catcher Paige Collings. Collings’ six RBIs and two home runs helped her to become the Dragons’ all-time leading home run hitter and run producer. The Dragons fell behind 1-0 in the top of the first inning but came out on fire in the bottom of the inning, scoring three runs. Taylor gave up just one earned run the rest of the way while the Dragons’ hitters started a parade to home plate to earn a 10-2 win.
“The team played great,” Camara said. “We hit the ball very well, one to nine in the lineup. Defense was solid, as was the pitching. It was a fundamental team win.”
The Dragons faced another crosstown rival when they played St. Joseph’s University April 12. Allen once again went the distance and earned another win. Both teams were scoreless until the fourth inning, when St. Joe’s struck first. The Hawks were able to score just one run off an error by Reading at first base. The Dragons came back in the top of the fifth inning and scored four runs capped off by a three-run homer by Reading. Drexel scored three more runs in the seventh inning to secure the 7-4 win over the Hawks.
Next up for the Dragons is a three-game series in Atlanta against Georgia State University, beginning with a doubleheader April 14 and finishing with the third game of the series April 15.