Coach Joe DiPietro heads into his fourth season for softball and is optimistic for the upcoming season after the conclusion of the fall season.
The Cherry and White finished its fall season Oct. 9 in a double header split, 8-3 and 0-4, against Wagner at Ambler. The team finished fall ball with a 4-3 overall record, picking up additional wins versus Lafayette, Iona, and Drexel.
“This is the most talented team I have had,” DiPietro said. “We have a good mix of veterans and youth.”
The Cherry and White finished out last season with a 22-23 overall record, 12-6 in Atlantic Ten Conference play and competed in the A-10 Tournament for the first time in six years. The Owls bring back most of the squad only losing one senior from last season.
The Owls were defeated by Charlotte 3-1 in the A-10 tournament to see their season come to an end. Senior Kristen Marris pitched her final game as an Owl allowing three runs in seven innings. Then freshman first baseman Stephanie Pasquale provided the offense with a double and RBI.
Top returnees include junior and captain centerfielder Ali Robinson (.234, 6 2B, 6 HR, 19 RBI) and sophomore shortstop Sarah Prezioso, who was named as First Team All-Rookie and Second Team All-A-10.
Senior second baseman Rachel Knable will be the veteran presence on the field this season. Knable was named as a Jewish All American provided by The Jewish Sports Review’s 2011 Women’s Softball All-American Team. She also received Second Team All-A-10 honors last season batting (.288, 8 2B, 1 3B, 28 RBI).
The players on the roster now have A-10 Tournament experience and are ready to compete for a conference championship for the first time since they were co-champions in 1990.
“If healthy, we should compete for a conference championship,” DiPietro said.
March 20 kicked off conference play last season and the Owls by splitting the doubleheader with Dayton. The Owls pulled out a game two win by a final score of 10-5. Sophomore pitcher Brooklin White picked up the win throwing a complete game, allowing 5 earned runs. The bats were sparked by junior first baseman Gina Sciarrone with three RBI and senior outfielder Samantha Schoell who knocked in two runs.
“Our team chemistry was awesome [last year],” DiPietro said. “We played hard and never gave up.”
Sophomore catcher Stephanie Pasquale is stepping up as a main contributor for Owls’. Pasquale was named A-10 Rookie of the Year finishing with a .363 batting average and seven 2B, six HR, and 35 RBI. She was also named to the All-Rookie Team and First Team All-Region.
“The team always manages to comeback,” Pasquale said. “Our confidence booster came against Fordham in the first game. We managed to come back and win that game.”
The Owls 7-4 comeback against conference opponent Fordham April 2 was a confidence booster for the club. Dominating pitching by Kristen Marris and the use of the long back by Robinson and Prezioso capped off the victory. Marris threw a complete game, only surrendering two earned runs while picking up the win. Robinson and Prezioso both smashed homeruns to secure the game.
David DiPasqua, Jr can be reached at David.DiPasqua@temple.edu.