Four hits was all the Owls needed.
In completing the two-game sweep of Charlotte (14-12, 2-2 in the Atlantic 10 Conference) the Owls (11-14, 3-1 in the A-10) tallied just four hits, but converted them into four runs in a 4-2 win.
President Neil Theobald was in attendance, marking the first time coach Joe DiPietro could remember a member of the administration attending a softball game.
One day after both teams combined for seven homeruns Temple and Charlotte each recorded one long ball. Charlotte tallied eight hits but the Owls forced eight walks on the day, keeping constant pressure on the 49ers pitching staff DiPietro said.
Junior third basemen Devynne Nelons hit a two-run blast, her second of the weekend, in the bottom of the second to give the Owls a 3-0 lead.
“She’s really struggled and she had a big one yesterday and she had another big one today,” DiPietro said. “She’s just feeling good about herself and confidence carries you a long way in this game.”
It proved to be enough for junior Brooklin White (3-5) on the mound. Despite some early season struggles White went the distance, giving up the two runs on a homer in the fifth. She surrendered eight hits and three walks while striking out four on the day.
“I was really happy with the way she threw,” DiPietro said. “She made some quality pitches, she worked ahead of the count a lot today.”
After allowing a leadoff single in the top of the first the Owls went to work in the home half. Junior centerfielder Ali Robinson walked and stole second, and two batters later junior catcher Stephanie Pasquale hit a single up the middle to knock Robinson in to get on the board first.
Through four innings White kept the 49ers in check. She allowed four singles and only one base runner reached third.
Then with two outs in the fifth and a runner on first junior catcher Chelsea Ingersoll put one over the right field fence for her third homer of the series.
“It wasn’t a bad pitch, the kid just got enough of the bat on it and it went to right centerfield,” DiPietro said.
“I thought we had a pretty good game plan on her,” DiPietro said. “She’s a legitimate hitter. You can’t make mistakes against really good hitters or they’re going to make you pay.”
After Nelons’s homer in the second the Owls went quietly in the next two innings, getting one walk during the span.
But with the 49ers within striking distance in a 3-2 ballgame Temple responded. Sophomore shortstop Sarah Prezioso walked to open the bottom half of the fifth and Pasquale followed with a single up the middle. Pasquale was the only Owl to record multiple hits on the day.
Two batters later freshman first baseman Kelsey Dominik walked to load the bases. After a Nelons fly out to left field senior designated player Kayla Cook drove in the fourth and final run on a full count walk.
“We left a lot of people on base even though we didn’t have a lot of hits,” DiPietro said. “We had people on, we just couldn’t get that one big hit when we needed it.”
White retired the side in the top of the sixth and one inning later surrendered a walk before closing out the game with a pop up to secure the 4-2 victory.
The win gives the Owls five straight, their longest streak of the season.
Freshman leftfielder Annie Marcopolus was the only other player to tally a hit, going 1-for-4 at the plate. Pasquale, who finished 2-for-3 with a RBI and run scored, extended her hitting streak to nine games.
“Steph’s a great hitter, she has a good eye at the plate,” DiPietro said. “She’s very receptive to feedback about her swing and she always talks to me after an at bat.”
The Owls have four days to rest before closing out their eight-game homestand on Tuesday when they host Lafayette in a double-header. The series is the first of two nonconference battles Temple has before returning to A-10 action.
The first game of the series Tuesday is set to begin at 3 p.m.
Jake Adams can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @jakeadams520.