Softball goes 5-8 in Florida tournaments

The team was swept at the Citrus Classic but rebounded in the Rebel Spring Games.

The softball team was on the move all spring break, although it didn’t quite start out on the ball. Playing a total of 13 games from March 4 to March 12, the Owls played their first five games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which made up the Citrus Classic Softball Tournament in Orlando, Fla. After losing all five games of the Classic, the team fared significantly better in the second tournament in Kissimmee, Fla., managing to come out 5-8 overall.

A tough 0-12 loss to Illinois kicked off the Citrus Classic, the first game of a back-to-back double-header. The loss was followed by another, this time with a score of 8-3, to North Carolina in game two. Freshman shortstop Sarah Prezioso and sophomore first baseman Crystal Nyman each tallied a home run in the latter game.

Temple did not fare much better on March 5, when the team faced opponents Illinois State and No. 17 Louisiana-Lafayette. The results were 4-12 and 3-18 respectively. Freshman catcher Stephanie Pasquale brought in two runs against Illinois State, and Prezioso had a two-run home run against Louisiana-Lafayette.

Temple finished up the last game of the Citrus Classic against Maryland in a 0-1 loss on March 6.

Some long awaited wins were finally earned in the Rebel Spring Games, the eight-game tournament held in Kissimmee. Senior pitcher Kristen Marris pitched the seven-inning first game, striking out six in the 3-2 win. Pasquale earned her first career home run for the Owls, and Marris delivered the game-winning double.

Temple fared even better in terms of hits in game two, defeating Detroit-Mercy, 12-6. They had a strong start, pulling into an 8-1 lead by the end of the second inning. Notable players for the Owls included freshman third baseman Devynne Nelons, who marked four RBIs including a three-run home run.

Junior outfielder Melissa Robbins also got an RBI double, Pasquale went 3-for-4 while Prezioso went 3-for-5. Freshman pitcher Brooklin White pitched the majority of the game, letting up nine hits and five runs in five innings and freshman pitcher Kylie Kristovich pitched two innings of shutout ball.

The tournament continued March 9 as Temple suffered two losses in a row. The Sacred Heart Pioneers beat the Owls, 9-2, with Nyman and Kristovich pitching. Nyman pitched 1.2 innings, giving up four hits and three runs, while Kristovich came in for the remaining 4.1 innings.

In her stay, she gave up nine hits and six runs. Junior outfielder Christina Synkora put the Owls on the board, bringing in both of Temple’s runs in her 2-for-3 game. Marris had two hits, including a double. The Owls were unable to gather a strong offense and inevitably fell to the Pioneers.

The team unfortunately wasn’t able to bounce back later that day, suffering another defeat to the Valparaiso Crusaders in the afternoon. The Owls maintained a scoreless tie until the fourth inning, when the Crusaders tallied the first of four runs. Temple only recorded three hits for the game, and Marris pitched all seven innings, giving up seven hits.

The women got their next win in a 7-5 game against Holy Cross. The Crusaders started by hitting a single-run home run right off the bat. However, with a quick four-run response brought about by sophomore first baseman Kayla Cook, Prezioso and Nelons, Temple gained the upper hand.

Junior outfielder Alysse Pujol eventually helped Temple secure two more runs with a double to center field, and a single by Marris brought in Cook. The Owls held on to the lead until the Crusaders tied up the game by the sixth inning, but three runs in the bottom of the sixth secured the win. White, a Temecula, Calif., native, pitched all seven innings of the win, recording six strikeouts.

The last of Temple’s losses in the spring break games can be credited to Loyola, which overcame the team on March 11, in a 3-2 victory. Loyola scored early, racking two runs by the second inning, although Temple almost recovered. By the fifth inning the game was tied and remained so until the seventh inning when Loyola scored for the win.

Despite a shaky start in Orlando, the Owls finished up admirably, notching 12-2 and 9-1 wins in the last two confrontations of the 13-game run. On March 12, Temple beat Lafayette then Columbia. Overall, the Owls stand with a record of 8-10, with no conference games to date.

While the Citrus Classic was a failure, the Owls competed and posed a threat at the Kissimmee games. Earlier in the season, they also tallied a 3-2 tournament record at the Tampa North Tournament.

Elizabeth Sim can be reached at esim@temple.edu.

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