Back-to-back doubles to the wall put the Owls in an early hole, but it turns out it was nothing the team’s hitting couldn’t overcome.
Temple (24-22, 11-5 Atlantic 10 Conference) connected for 14 hits on day when freshman righthander Kelsey Dominik needed just five innings against Rhode Island (9-30, 2-11 A-10) to secure the series sweep.
It took a few innings for the bats to warm up, but it didn’t matter. Despite giving up two runs in the opening frame, Dominik settled down and recorded her 11th win of the season in a 10-2 offensive display for the Owls
After spending two weeks nearly absent the Temple bats woke up this weekend. One day after putting up nine runs in a come-from-behind ninth-inning victory the Owls put 10 across home and run-ruled a team coach Joe DiPietro said before the weekend they could afford to lose to.
The top four in the lineup combined to go 7-for12 with six runs, six runs batted in and two homers. In all the Owls matched their homerun output from Friday with five.
Temple played small ball to start, though, scoring freshman leftfielder Annie Marcopolus on a sacrifice fly by junior catcher Stephanie Pasquale in the bottom of the first to make it 2-1 Rams. A solo shot by junior third baseman Devynne Nelons tied it an inning later.
The Owls kept the runs coming in the third, en route to scoring in every inning until run-ruling Rhode Island. In the third Pasquale took a 2-1 pitch to right center for a two-run shot. She finished 2-for-2 with three RBIs, two runs scored and walking once. An inning later junior Sarah Prezioso hit a two-run dinger of her own to bring the score to 6-2.
Dominik continued to shut down the Rams in the top of the fifth and the offense made sure to end it a half inning later. Dominik helped her own cause with a leadoff homer on a 3-2 pitch. Two batters later senior designated player Kayla Cook—one day after going 3-for-4 with a game tying homerun in the bottom of the seventh—took a pitch over the leftfield fence.
And with two outs Prezioso sealed the deal with a double that scored Marcopolus. Prezioso swung the bat well, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs, two runs scored and a stolen base. Her infield partner, Nelons, was 3-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI.
On the other side, no Rhode Island hitter recorded more than one hit. Only the two through five hitters made contact safely against Dominik.
Dominik was in control after her rough first inning. In the final four innings she retired 12 of the 14 batters she faced, only allowing one hit and hitting a batter. She went on to surrender four total hits—three of which came in the first—while striking out three and walking one.
The win gives the Owls a critical sweep against an A-10 opponent. With Massachusetts up in a double-header Sunday, the Owls got two key wins that keep them on the inside track for the A-10 Tournament.
Massachusetts and Temple will battle it out to hold onto the fifth spot in the standings. First pitch is set for noon.
Jake Adams can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @jakeadams520.