GREENSBORO, N.C. - Shelby Taylor returned to Drexel this season as the softball team's most experienced starting pitchers. Tara Konopka, a freshman making just her second collegiate appearance on Sunday, is one of the Dragons' least experienced starters. Both threw gems on Sunday at the Spartan Classic on the campus of UNC Greensboro, but neither got the offense to back them up as Taylor lost to Quinnipiac 1-0 and Konopka to Marshall 4-0.
Drexel (0-4) managed just one hit in each game. They nevertheless had scoring opportunities in both contests, but could not push a run across.
In the first game, Taylor took a no-hitter into the fifth inning against Quinnipiac before ceding a base hit back up the middle to Bridget Figmic. That came a half inning after what turned out to be the Dragons' lone hit of the day, a single to center field off the bat of Hanna Parrish in the bottom of the fourth. She would be thrown out trying to steal second base.
In the bottom of the fifth, with the score still knotted at 0-0, Jenn Reading drew a one-out walk. Emily Baker was brought on to pinch run, and motored all the way around to second when Ellen Scott's grounder to second base was misplayed into a two-base error. With two runners in scoring position and one out, the Dragons were unable to push across a run as Sylvia Llamas flew out to shallow right field and Maddison Timoteo hit the a sharp line drive right at the Bobcats' shortstop.
Drexel got a runner in scoring position again in the sixth. Parrish reached on another error by Quinnipiac second baseman Nikki Barba, and moved up to second when Rose Portiolli walked. With two away, though, Lara Horwitz struck out to end the threat.
Quinnipiac finally got on the board in the seventh, stringing together three of the Bobcats' five hits on the day. With one away, Lauren Salgado singled to left. After Courtney Solt lined out, Alex Alba hit a single back up the middle that brought Salgado around to third. Jordan Paolucci got the game's key hit when she laced a two-out double to left-center plating Salgado with what would prove to be the game's only run. The Dragons were put down in order in the bottom of the seventh.
Taylor, who allowed just five hits, struck out three on the day.
In the second game of the day, Drexel once again got a strong pitching performance. Konopka allowed just three hits and struck out seven, but walked six batters and hit two, eventually allowing the Thundering Herd to push across four runs. They scored once in the third on a sacrifice fly and three more in the fifth. The first two runs in the fifth were driven in by a walk and a hit by pitch, and the third came home on a wild pitch.
Again, Drexel managed just one base hit on the day, a leadoff single to right-center by Reading in the fifth inning. She moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Karli Boyer, but would be stranded there.
In the seventh, Comfort Ahonkhai drew a leadoff walk and would eventually make her way around to third base thanks to a pair of wild pitches, but the next four batters could not get the ball out of the infield as she would be left at third base to end the game.
Drexel will return to the field on Monday, finishing up a truncated Spartan Classic with a rematch against Marshall and a tilt against the host UNC Greensboro.