Delaware Sweeps Doubleheader From Drexel, 6-5 and 6-0, Moves Closer To CAA Tournament Berth
April 30, 2011
Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
• Game 1 Boxscore
• Game 2 Boxscore
• Photo Gallery
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The University of Delaware softball team held on for a 6-5 win over Drexel in the opener before shutting out the Dragons 6-0 in the nightcap Saturday afternoon at Drexel Field as the Blue Hens moved closer to securing a spot in the upcoming Colonial Athletic Association Tournament.
The Blue Hens, who improved to 20-29 overall and 9-8 in the conference, won their sixth consecutive game, the program’s longest winning streak since also winning six in a row from April 10-17, 2010. Delaware currently sits in a virtual tie for third place in the league standings along with Towson, which swept a doubleheader from James Madison on Saturday to move to 8-7 in the CAA. If Delaware and Towson each win again on Sunday, both squads will clinch spots in the four-team CAA Tournament to be held on May 11-13 at either Hofstra or Georgia State.
Drexel, which has now lost all 10 of its home games this season, fell to 13-26 overall and 5-12 in league play.
Delaware immediately threatened during the opener when Michelle McKinnon was hit by a pitch, Lara Andrews walked and Amanda Stacevicz (above right) legged out an infield single to load the bases with one out. Drexel starting pitcher Hillary Allen then struck out Blue Hen catcher Gina Knutson and got Rachel Jones to hit a groundball to second, but the ball kicked off the glove of the Dragons’ Rachel Campbell, allowing two runs to score.
However Drexel would take the lead during the bottom of the first when Allen delivered an RBI single to rightfield and Paige Collings followed by blasting a two-run homer to left, putting the Dragons on top, 3-2.
The Blue Hens pulled even during the top of the fourth, when Stacevicz doubled to rightcenter to drive home McKinnon. Knutson then singled to shortstop, chasing home Andrews to put Delaware back in front by a run. However Drexel quickly knotted the game at 4-4 when Kelley Downes opened the bottom of the frame with a solo home run to centerfield.
After each team went scoreless in the fifth, Delaware took the lead for good with a pair of runs in the sixth. McKinnon ignited the rally with a one-out double to center, and following a groundout by Andrews, walks to Stacevicz and Knutson loaded the bases. Rachel Jones (above left) then stroked a two-run single up the middle, driving home McKinnon and Stacevicz to put Delaware ahead, 6-4.
Stacevicz, who replaced UD starting pitcher Hannah Rust in the second, then retired the Dragons in order during the bottom of the sixth before running into trouble in the seventh. Devon Metcalf opened the frame with a home run to center to make it a one-run game, and one out later bunt singles by Comfort Ahonkhai and Hannah Parrish moved the tying run into scoring position. Andrews then preserved the lead with a diving catch of a flyball hit by the Dragons’ Laura Stagliano for the second out, before Stacevicz retired Campbell on a flyout to right to end the game.
Stacevicz won her fifth straight decision after allowing two earned runs on four hits with four strikeouts in six innings of relief, while Drexel’s Shyann Beach was saddled with the loss and dropped to 0-5 after she gave up one earned run in two-thirds of an inning.
Stacevicz and Jones each had two hits to lead the Blue Hen attack, while McKinnon scored three runs and Andrews (below right) crossed the plate twice.
After the one-run nail-biter, the Blue Hens wasted little time in taking control of the nightcap. After Jenny Richards led off the game with a walk and McKinnon beat out a bunt single, the runners moved to second and third on a sacrifice bunt by Andrews. Stacevicz then drilled a three-run homer over the fence in centerfield to give Delaware a lead it would not relinquish. Knutson then gave the Blue Hens back-to-back homers by blasting a shot to center, as Delaware took an early four-run advantage.
Knutson now has nine home runs this season, second most in UD single season behind only teammate Michelle Grap, who recorded 13 longballs a year ago. Knutson also now has 10 homers for her career, tied for third all-time at Delaware.
The Blue Hens maintained their four-run cushion until the top of the fourth, when Bertie Lake doubled to leftcenter with one out. She was quickly erased when Richards reached on a fielder’s choice, but Richards came around to score on singles by McKinnon and Andrews to make it a 5-0 game.
Delaware added its final run during the fifth when Knutson led off with a single to center, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jones, went to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Grap.
Meanwhile Blue Hen freshman pitcher Kathleen Conway (below left) breezed through the first six innings, allowing only a one-out single in the second to Downes. The rookie lefthander gave up a pair of two-out singles in the seventh before getting Metcalf to foul out to first to end the game, preserving her third shutout of the season. Conway stuck out 10 Dragons while not walking any as she improved to 5-8 on the season.
Shelby Taylor, who started for Drexel and allowed four earned runs in 1.1 innings of work, fell to 5-10 on the year.
McKinnon, Knutson, and Lake each recorded a pair of hits for Delaware, while Stacevicz had three RBI and Richards scored a pair of runs.
The Blue Hens, whose five-game CAA win streak is their longest since taking six in a row from April 18-May 1, 2004, plays their final road contest of the season on Sunday with a 12 noon single game with the Dragons at Drexel Field.Back To Softball Home Softball Story Archive