March 27, 2014
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. Villanova softball's (8-16) comeback bid falls short as Drexel (9-12) defeats the Wildcats 5-4 in game one of a doubleheader Thursday afternoon at the Softball Field on Vidas' Athletics Complex.
Two key homeruns off starting pitcher Kate Poppe would give Drexel a 5-0 lead to begin the game and provide all the run support Tara Konopka would need. Villanova wouldn't make it easy for the Dragons, scoring at least one run in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to pose a comeback. However, Shelby Taylor came in the seventh and registered three straight outs to close the door.
Despite six strikeouts, Poppe (5-11) collected the loss for the Wildcats. She surrendered five runs, four earned on two hits in 2.1 innings. Konopka improves to 3-6 on the mound. She allowed four runs on five hits in six innings.
The Dragons jumped out to an early lead when Taylor hit a three run shot over the left field wall in the latter half of the first. The first two runners reached on a four pitch walk followed by a Lauren Herschberg error at third base trying to field a bunt.
In the top of the second, Poppe struck out four batters on fastballs as a Drexel runner reached on a passed ball by the catcher. Kimberly Chan smacked a two run homerun down the right field line to extend the Dragons' lead to 5-0 in the bottom of the third. After the long ball, Jordan Prutzer would relieve Poppe and register two quick outs to end the inning.
The Wildcats got on the board in the fourth. With one out, Jessica Angersbach, Aleshia Ayers and Elise Alvarado would draw three consecutive walks to load the bases. Lowe then hit a groundball to the third baseman who fired it home to prevent the run from scoring. In the next at bat, Chase Snell forced another walk to plate Angersbach and cut the Drexel lead to 5-1.
The next inning, Villanova would do damage off Konopka with two runs to cut the deficit to 5-3. With one out, Stephanie Butler got things going with a double to left. Poppe drew a walk before Ayers smacked an RBI double to left field. The next pitch, Poppe scored on a passed ball.
Villanova pushed another run across in the sixth when Herschberg crushed a single to the left centerfield wall with Lowe on second base.
The two squads return to action at 5:15 p.m. to conclude Thursday's doubleheader.