It was another big day for the Owls’ most potent bat.
Junior catcher Stephanie Pasquale went 3-for-7 at the plate in Temple’s (14-15, 3-1 Atlantic 10 Conference) double-header sweep of Wagner University (6-22).
In the second game Pasquale kicked off the offensive outburst with a two-run single down the right field line, driving in junior shortstop Sarah Prezioso and freshman leftfielder Annie Marcopolus.
An inning later it was a mirror image, except this time with a single to left. Marcopolus and Prezioso scored once again to give the Owls a 4-1 lead. Back to back hits by Wagner in the second tied the game at 4-4 but Temple would go on to win 8-5.
Freshman Kelsey Dominik, manning first base after pitching the opening game, smacked a solo shot in the top of the fifth, while Prezioso collected three hits, scoring twice and driving in two. She also stole two bases.
Sophomore Jessica Mahoney was solid on the mound, allowing four earned while striking out six and walking three in her complete game victory.
“She was kind of up and down,” coach Joe DiPietro said. “But then again, she came back and made pitches… She’s definitely made progress and has been getting better
The first game was all Temple early and often. A Pasquale double in the first scored Prezioso and Marcopolus to give them a 2-0 lead. Over the next two innings the Owls put up four more runs.
Wagner didn’t get on the board until a fifth-inning single broke the shutout. They would get three runs in the fifth and sixth innings but Temple cruised to an 8-3 win. Prezioso was the difference at the plate, going 3-for-3 with three runs scored and an RBI.
“Well the middle of the lineup looked really, really good,” DiPietro said. “We started to get a little bit of production from [the bottom of the order] today, which was nice, but they’re just too inconsistent.”
Dominik (6-1) went the distance in the opening half of the twin-bill, surrendering three earned on 10 hits—Wagner got 21 hits in both games—while striking out two and not allowing a walk.
“They had a lot of little dinker hits, like right over somebody’s head where I don’t care who’s out in the outfielder or infield, you weren’t catching those balls,” DiPietro said.
Prezioso, while strong at the plate, uncharacteristically had three errors on the day, and the team had four overall. Heading into the double-header they were ranked as the best defensive team in the A-10 in fielding percentage.
“We had a tough defensive day today,” DiPietro said. “I think it had something to do with the field, it wasn’t exactly the best field we ever played on. We made a couple errors uncharacteristically for us, which helped them get a couple runs.”
DiPietro’s biggest issue with the performance in the games was the inconsistent hitting of the bottom of the order, he said. He said they got hits at times but in order for this team to reach its full potential they have to produce more.
“I recruited this team because they can hit, they’re all really, really good hitters, and some have struggled,” DiPietro said. “We have the capabilities of being a very explosive offensive team.”
Despite the low production from the bottom of the order the Owls were able to score eight runs in both games, largely thanks to the top of their lineup. Robinson, Marcopolus, Prezioso and Pasquale were responsible for 11 of the team’s runs, 13 hits, 11 RBI’s and a homerun.
Temple returns home Sunday to take on A-10 foe St. Bonaventure. The game was originally scheduled as an away game but poor weather and an unusable field meant the game had to be moved to Ambler. The first game of the double-header is set for noon.
Jake Adams can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @jakeadams520.