By Mike Rudin – SPORTS EDITOR
On the bright side, the Hofstra softball team defeated the Drexel Dragons back-to-back in Saturday’s doubleheader, 13-3 in game one and 12-3 in game two, at Bill Edwards Stadium.
On the other hand, shortstop Michaela Transue suffered from a devastating collision with left fielder Chloe Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald came out fine but Transue exited the game early, via stretcher, needing an ambulance to go to a hospital.
“It’s tough emotionally,” Hofstra head coach Larissa Anderson said about loss of Transue. “It’s tough to be able to rebound from something like that.
“It takes a lot of guts and determination and to be able to get yourself back in the ballgame when you’re obviously thinking about your teammate who’s at the hospital right now.”
The injury occurred in the middle of the fourth inning of game one.
In the midst of aiding Transue, a fan in the stands passed out, requiring medical attention. The fan received medical assistance from Nassau County police officers. She also left via stretcher and was taken to a hospital.
Despite the approximate 45-minute delay due to the medical scares off and on the field, Hofstra charged on to dismantle Drexel.
The Pride hit the ground running against Drexel in game one to take a 7-0 lead in the first three frames.
Lacey Clark did most of the damage with two doubles that drove in three runs. Plus, Transue greatly contributed with a two-run homer.
Hofstra starter Jessica Peslak got the nod, she struckout four in the first three innings.
Drexel started threatening to score in the top of the fourth. Peslak started struggle with a walk and two base hits.
After Megan Patierno took over the shortstop position to replace the injured Transue, Drexel rallied three runs in the fourth to get back into contention.
Yet, that was all Drexel managed to collect from Peslak as she rebounded and mowed down the Dragons for two more scoreless frames.
The Pride scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth to go back up by seven. Clark drove in Caryn Bailey with a RBI, Patierno drove in Clark with a RBI fielder’s choice and Nikki Michalowski hit a solo shot to left center.
After that, the Pride needed one more run to automatically win the game via mercy rule. This rule takes place by at least 4.5 innings of play and if one team leads by eight or more runs.
With one key swing, Hofstra got what they needed and then some thanks to a game-winning three-run homer from Lacey Clark.
She led the Pride offense, going 4-for-4 with 7 RBIs in game one. Chloe Fitzgerald went 3-for-4 plus scored two runs. Also, Brielle Pietrafesa went 2-for-3 at the plate with one RBI and two runs scored.
Peslak’s complete-game win through six frames improved her record to 16-8 and her earned run average dropped to 4.57. She gave up six hits, three runs and three walks but struckout seven.
In game two, Hofstra came back from a slight 2-0 deficit in the top of the first.
Madison Grimm got the start for the Pride in the circle and off the bat she struggled.
Grimm threw five walks in the first frame alone and both of Drexel’s runs came off two walks with the bases loaded.
Hofstra’s offense, however, stole the show in the bottom half of the first.
After a leadoff base hit by Fitzgerald, Brittany Allocca tied the game with a two-run homer.
Then after Kim Smith singled, Pietrafesa smacked a RBI double to give Hofstra the lead.
Except for Clark who hit a sac fly, the entire Pride lineup reached base in their first time at the plate.
Drexel’s starter Tara Konopka was pulled after pitching 1/3 of the way through the first inning.
Reliever Desiree Severance didn’t stop Hofstra from compiling a nine-run rally in the first. Allocca topped off the rally with a three-run single, which slipped by the left fielder.
Afterwards, Grimm didn’t have as much pressure on her and she threw three scoreless frames after struggling in the first.
In the second, Bailey smashed a solo shot to center field and Fitzgerald drove in a run through a fielder’s choice.
The Pride’s 11-2 lead put them in position to win again via the mercy rule. Hofstra needed to maintain at least an eight-run lead by the middle of the fifth.
Fitzgerald tacked on one more run in the bottom of the fourth thanks to a RBI base hit.
The Dragons needed three more runs in order to stay alive after the top of the fifth.
Even though they scored one off of Grimm, it wasn’t enough and the Pride won game two of the doubleheader.
Grimm got the complete-game win through five. She surrendered three runs, six hits and eights walks but struckout five as her record improved to 6-6 this season.
Allocca led the Pride, batting 2-for-3 with four RBIs and scoring one run. Fitzgerald went 1-for-2 with two walks, three RBIs and two runs scored. Pietrafesa batted 2-for-3 including one run and one RBI.
Isabel Hansbury – Transue’s replacement at the plate – went 3-for-3 altogether in both games.
Hofstra is now 23-18 overall and 7-6 in CAA action while Drexel dropped to 17-28 and 0-13 in conference.
The Pride will look for the series sweep against Drexel tomorrow at 12 p.m.