With two outs in the bottom of the seventh and a Mount St. Mary runner on second, the Owls and Mountaineers were knotted in a scoreless tie. Mount St. Mary’s Jessica Greenewald singled to senior shortstop Sarah Prezioso, who attempted to throw the runner out at third. But the throw sailed past third baseman Devynne Nelons and the runner sprinted home to give Mount St. Mary the walk-off win.
It was a loss that characterized Temple’s performance in the University of South Florida Under Armour Invitational. The Owls scored eight runs in five games and the tournament was bookended with 1-0 losses to Florida Atlantic and Mount St. Mary. Four of the five games were decided by one run, with the other game being a blowout loss to Central Arkansas. In both shutout losses, the winning run for Temple’s opponent was unearned, as the team continued to make errors.
“It’s frustrating,” coach Joe DiPietro said. “They almost look like they’re beaten before they go out there. Which is hard, because we only lost one starter from last year, so we basically have the same team back. We shouldn’t be 2-8. But the fact of the matter is, that’s what we are.”
In Sunday’s game against Mount St. Mary, the offense mustered two hits and drew two walks. When Temple did threaten to score, it was only with the aid of Mountaineer errors. Temple loaded the bases in the fourth on one hit, but freshman catcher Kaylyn Zierke struck out to end the frame. Nelons made it to third base in the fifth inning without the aid of a hit, but the team was unable to get her home.
“We didn’t play well again,” DiPietro said. “We didn’t hit. We had an error in the seventh inning that caused a run, so they didn’t have a [clutch] hit either, but they did enough to beat us.”
Junior right-hander Jessica Mahoney pitched for Temple, and showed that the Owls’ pitching, despite the one lopsided loss in the tournament, is still the strongest part of the team. DiPietro praised Mahoney’s performance, saying that “she pitched a great game.” Mahoney allowed six hits, walked two, struck out six and hit a batter.
But without offense or defense to back her up, Mahoney ended up taking the loss without giving up an earned run.
DiPietro said his team is well aware that it is not playing to its full potential.
“They’re smart kids,” DiPietro said. “They know this stuff’s going on, and they have to do something about it, but it’s just been difficult so far.”
Temple has the day off on Monday and then the team will try to snap its seven-game losing streak with two games on Tuesday. The Owls play Saint Francis at 10 a.m. and then face Niagara at noon.
Don McDermott can be reached at email@example.com.