Troubled by a lack of both offense and defense, the softball team lost both games of a double header to St. Bonaventure on Saturday, in the Owls’ first game against an Atlantic Ten Conference opponent since they beat Saint Joseph’s in the conference championship last year.
“We didn’t do any[thing] right,” coach Rocci Pignoli said. “We were a little sloppy at the mound and we didn’t get it done at the plate.”
The Owls (9-17, 0-2) made seven errors on the day, six in the second game and three by junior third baseman Lauren Evans alone. They lost the first game, 4-2, and dropped the second, 8-3.
The first game got off to a promising start against the Bonnies, who had only one win coming in. Senior shortstop Aida Esquer and outfielder Laura Gutscher each hit a home run in first inning, but the Owls would not cross home plate for the rest of that game.
“We didn’t keep up the intensity the entire game,” Gutscher said. “I died halfway through.”
The Bonnies scored two runs in the fourth inning, to tie the game 2-2 and the Owls became too aggressive to regain the lead. Gutscher walked to first base, but was the first of two caught trying to steal second. Neither team would threaten again until the sixth inning, when the Bonnies scored two runs on a line drive past third base for the final margin.
St. Bonaventure pitcher Christine Keleher held the Owls to four hits, while sophomore right-hander Richelle Villescas gave up eight in the first game.
“For some reason lately, [when I give up a hit] I’ve been giving up another hit right afterward,” Villescas said. “I need to keep runners off the bases.”
Freshman right-hander Jennifer Nacianceno started the second game. After striking out two and allowing two singles in the first inning, the Bonnies took the lead on a Temple throwing error. Sophomore catcher Anna Nagro then drove the ball to the fence, sending two runners home before being tagged out at second base.
St. Bonaventure starter Brianna Bricker walked two Owls to start the bottom of the inning, and sophomore Adrienne Repsher crushed the ball over the fence of right field. It was her third home run of the season, and tied the game at 3-3.
Then the errors began, and just kept coming. Sophomore Brandie Mora overthrew first base, missing the chance for a double play in the second inning. In the top of the fourth inning, Evans botched a grounder to third, allowing two runners to score.
St. Bonaventure scored one more run on an error by freshman infielder Amanda Carver in the sixth inning, to account for the final score.
Though the Owls had two chances in the bottom of the sixth inning, they failed to score. Mora’s drive to center field fell a foot short of being a three-run homer, and Carver’s line drive with the bases loaded was snagged by Bonnies shortstop Joelle Brunetto.
“Pitching, we got ourselves in trouble. Hitting, we had a couple good chances of getting back in and when you’re going bad, those little balls don’t fall in,” Pignoli said. “I guess the good thing about it is we have some non-conference games coming up so we can regroup.”
Evans’ three errors weren’t the worst part of her day. Her boot in the fourth inning not only allowed two runs to score, it also stopped play for several minutes after bouncing up and striking her in the face. Evans walked off the field on her own power and did not return.
Travis Hannegan can be reached at email@example.com.