The Owls overcame the mental struggles from earlier in the season to snap their seven-game losing streak. On the first day of the Rebel Spring Games in Winter Haven, Fla., the Owls defeated St. Francis and Niagara, each by a score of 7-4.
“They feel better,” DiPietro said of his team’s mental outlook. “It was [seven] in a row we had lost, so they got that out of the way. Their mindset is [to] come out tomorrow and get two more, get closer to .500. They don’t want to lose a game the rest of the way down here.”
Right-handed junior Jessica Mahoney pitched against St. Francis and picked up her first win of the season.
“[Mahoney] pitched a good game,” DiPietro said. “I think she only gave up one earned [run]. We made some throwing errors, and they scored two runs on one.”
Mahoney leads the team in ERA, and has now put together two solid performances. Against Mount St. Mary, Mahoney took a hard-luck, 1-0 loss when Temple allowed the unearned game-winning run. But in Temple’s game against the Red Flash, the offense surged to help her out, with senior shortstop Sarah Prezioso knocking a three-run home run to lead the charge.
Temple’s offense continued to pile on the runs in the later game against Niagara. The scoring began with a two-run homer in the first, and from there the Owls soared to a 6-0 lead after two innings. Niagara singled home a run in the fifth, but Temple responded with a solo shot in the bottom of the frame. Niagara scored a second run in the sixth. In the seventh inning, DiPietro removed several of his starters.
“We were up 7-2, and then I put a bunch of the other kids in there,” DiPietro said. “One of our kids misplayed a fly ball in the outfield, and they scored two runs that way. So it looks like it’s 7-4, but it was a routine fly ball.”
The Owls held on to win, 7-4. Right-hander Kelsey Dominik pitched for the Owls, and also hit one of the home runs. Sophomore second baseman Leah Lucas contributed the other round-tripper.
“We hit better and we played defense better and we pitched better,” DiPietro said. “All around, both games were just better.”
With the wins, Temple improved its record to 4-8.
“I was happy for them that they got a couple wins,” DiPietro said. “They were really struggling mentally. It makes you do some things you’re not used to doing. So it was good that they got the wins.”
“We’ll get back at it tomorrow, and keep it going,” DiPietro continued. “Get a couple more tomorrow and it’ll be four in a row, and then we’re starting to roll again.”
The Owls play Sacred Heart at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, and then take on Niagara again at 2 p.m.
Don McDermott can be reached at email@example.com.