Temple took two out of three games from American Athletic Conference rival Connecticut last weekend.
Senior shortstop Sarah Prezioso led off Friday’s first game with a double, and after advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt, she was driven home on a double by sophomore first baseman Leah Lucas.
The Huskies responded in the bottom of the first, scoring a run on an error by senior designated player Brooklin White.
The two teams traded home runs in the third inning. Prezioso hit a solo homer, but UConn’s Alyson Ambler knocked a three-run shot to put Temple behind, 4-2.
In the fourth, the Owls scored off of an error. Huskies pitcher Lauren Duggan threw a wild pitch with the bases loaded, allowing sophomore center fielder Annie Marcopolus to score and bringing the UConn lead down to one run.
Duggan and Temple’s starting right-hander, Kelsey Dominik, settled down after the top of the fourth. A single from Marcopolus in the top of the sixth was the only hit either team made after that until the seventh inning.
Prezioso was the first to bat in the frame, and after reaching first on an error, she stole second. Freshman left fielder Toni Santos grounded out to shortstop to advance Prezioso to third, and then Lucas was hit by a pitch. The next batter was Dominik, who hit into a fielders’ choice. Prezioso scored from third on the play to tie the game at four apiece.
The Huskies failed to score in the bottom of the seventh, and the game went to extra innings. Both pitchers put zeroes up on the board in the eighth and ninth. UConn, however, advanced a runner to third in both innings. In the ninth, junior right fielder Julia Kastner threw out the potential game-winning runner at home.
But in the tenth, UConn’s Dominique Pinto hit a two-out single to drive in an unearned run and give the Huskies a walk-off win.
Dominik and Duggan each pitched for the whole game.
Temple’s junior righty Jessica Mahoney started Friday’s late game for the Owls, and gave up a two-out RBI single in the first inning.
Temple took the lead in the third, however. Senior third baseman Devynne Nelons scored on a sac fly from Lucas. The next batter, Dominik, doubled home Prezioso to give the Owls the 2-1 lead.
The Huskies replaced their starting pitcher after four innings. The Owls loaded the bases off of her replacement in the fifth, but freshman catcher Kaylyn Zierke flew out to end the inning.
The Owls continued to put runners in scoring position, but it was not until the seventh inning that Temple was able to add some insurance runs. With two outs, Marcopolus came through with a single to score sophomore pinch runner Gina Pellechio, and then senior pinch runner Kylie Kristovich scored on an error to put the Owls up by three.
Mahoney, after allowing the one run in the first inning, shut the Huskies down until the seventh, when UConn scored a run on a sac fly. But Mahoney induced the next batter to fly out, and the Owls won, 4-2.
Mahoney picked up her second win of the season, her first since March 4 against St. Francis. She gave up two runs on six hits, while striking out four batters and walking none.
The two teams played the deciding game on Sunday, with Dominik and Duggan facing off again.
In the bottom of the second inning, UConn’s Heather Fyfe hit a two-run home run to put her team up 2-0.
Duggan continued to keep the Owls off the board. The Owls had two singles through the first four innings.
In the fifth, the Owls loaded the bases with two outs. But Lucas grounded into a fielders’ choice, with Santos getting thrown out at second, and the inning ended.
The Owls started the sixth with two singles, but Duggan got the next two Temple batters out. Kastner came up next, and knocked a two-run double to tie the game.
In the seventh, after Prezioso grounded out, Santos tripled and Lucas walked. Dominik struck out swinging, but then Zierke, who had gone a combined 0 for 7 in the first two games, doubled to left field and Santos scored to give the Owls a 3-2 lead.
The Huskies went quietly in the bottom of the frame, and Temple took the series, two games to one.
The Owls will play a doubleheader at Stony Brook on Wednesday, with the first game beginning at 2:30 p.m.
Don McDermott can be reached at email@example.com.