Softball splits double-header with Drexel to take the series
For the second straight afternoon, the Hofstra softball team rallied from a four-run deficit against Drexel University. Unfortunately for the Pride, they couldn’t hold the lead this time as the Dragons scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to walk off Hofstra 8-7 in Game 1 of a doubleheader, Saturday, April 13.
Mackenzie Suto took the loss after surrendering all three seventh-inning runs, just one earned, while walking six batters. Courtney Scarpato gave up three runs on four hits in two innings of work. Reliever Meghan Conroy got the win for Drexel, giving up three hits and no runs over the final 2 1/3 innings.
Each of Drexel’s five second-inning runs were scored with two outs. The rally began with a throwing error on Hofstra right fielder Amanda Maffucci that allowed a Janelle Ladrido single to turn into runners on second and third. After Sarah Clinton walked to load the bases, sophomore infielder Elena Woulfe doubled to center, scoring Ladrido and Hannah Walker. The next batter, Linda Rush, sent a home run over the center-field wall, scoring her and the two runners still on base and making the score 5-0 in favor of the Dragons.
After allowing an unearned run in the top of the third, the Pride exploded for six runs in the fifth, all coming with two outs. With runners at first and second, the Pride began a streak of four straight RBI doubles coming from Meghan Giordano, Angelina Ioppolo, Devyn Losco and Alexis Goeke. Scarpato capped off the inning, reaching safely on an error and scoring pinch runner Imani Myint. By the end of the inning Hofstra had gone from down 5-1 to up 7-5.
Despite having runners in scoring position in both the sixth and seventh innings, Hofstra was unable to capitalize and went to the bottom of the seventh, where they failed to record an out. Suto began by walking the first two batters before shortstop Kristin Hallam committed an error to load the bases. Taylor Lee singled to center, bringing one run around before a throwing error by Suto scored two unearned runs, giving Drexel the win.
This game was riddled with mistakes on both sides with nine errors total including six by Hofstra. Unfortunately for the Pride, their final error ultimately cost them the game.
The afternoon matchup went better for Hofstra as they took the rubber match of their three-game series at Drexel, 4-3. The defense was much better as the Pride committed no errors and held the Dragons to five less runs.
The very first batter of the game, Kasey Collins, reached on an error – Drexel’s first of three on the day – and made it to second base. Two groundouts later she became the first run of the game.
The Dragons got on the board in the bottom of the first on a solo home run from Linda Rush. Rush had Drexel’s only hit of the first two innings.
In the top of the second, the Pride took a lead they would never surrender. After Devyn Losco walked with one out, Goeke homered to center, giving Hofstra a 3-1 lead.
Drexel made a push in the bottom of the third with the bases loaded and one out. Kristi KiMeo flew out to right, scoring the inning’s leadoff hitter, Taylor Kent. It was the closest Drexel would get as the Pride would extend their lead in the top of the fourth.
After reaching on an error with one out, Goeke was replaced by pinch runner Amanda Maffucci. Maffucci reached third on a throwing error after a Scarpato single. Two batters later, she walked home after Collins got a free pass with the bases loaded, putting the Pride up 4-2. It was their second unearned run.
Drexel played some small ball in the bottom of the fourth to cross its last run. Taylor Lee walked, then Janelle Ladrido pinch ran for her. Ladrido advanced to third on a single followed by a groundout, scoring on pinch hitter Haley Hulitt’s groundout. The run was the final score of the game and brought the Dragons within one, 4-3.
Over the final three innings, there were just two baserunners – both for Drexel. Madison Burns shut the door and finished with a complete-game win. Brooklyn Daly took the loss and gave up all four runs, two earned, in 3 1/3 innings of work but the Pride was no-hit by reliever Devon Grippe over the final 3 2/3 frames. Both Burns and Daly pitched complete games in Hofstra’s comeback win a day earlier.
Hofstra was able to win a close and hard-fought series with Drexel. After two drama-filled games, the rubber match came and went without much excitement, but the Pride was able to pull out the victory.
The Pride moves to 18-20 overall and 5-7 in Colonial Athletic Association play. Next for Hofstra, they head to Fordham on Wednesday, April 17, at 3 p.m.
Photo Courtesy of Hofstra Athletics