Temple’s defensive woes continued against Indiana State on Sunday, as the Owls dropped their final game at the TSU Tiger Classic by a score of 6-0.
Temple made four errors against the Sycamores, making eight total in the Owls’ last two games. Five of those eight errors were made by senior shortstop Sarah Prezioso.
In addition to the errors, the Owls’ pitching and batting struggled.
Coach Joe DiPietro said he was not happy with what he saw.
“We just didn’t hit,” DiPietro said. “We were very undisciplined at the plate, swung at a lot of bad pitches. We made four more errors. Pitching wasn’t good for us. I don’t know if it was because we got in so late last night, and then had a pretty short turnaround. But, you know, very disappointing the way they played.”
The Owls were held without a hit until the fifth inning by Indiana State pitcher Yvette Alvarez. Temple loaded the bases in that frame, but failed to score.
The Sycamores defense had little trouble with the Owls, turning two inning-ending double plays.
“[We] hit a lot of ground balls where we usually hit line drives,” DiPietro said. “They didn’t make adjustments when they were told to make them. That’s the frustrating part as a coach. They didn’t listen to what I had to tell them, for whatever reason, and they paid the price for it.”
Senior right-hander Brooklin White pitched for the Owls, and struggled with her command. White gave up four runs, three earned, on six hits through six innings. She walked three, struck out one, threw three wild pitches, and hit a batter. Right-handed senior Kylie Kristovich relieved White in the seventh, but did not fare much better against Indiana State, giving up two runs, one earned, on two hits and a walk.
Although the offense and pitching faltered, the most perplexing issue for DiPietro was the defense.
“I don’t necessarily have an answer for [the way our defense is playing],” DiPietro said. “The only thing I can think of is because we haven’t been outside at all. First time in the dirt for them since October, so it could have something to do with it. But I just think it’s a lack of focus.”
The Owls finished the tournament with a record of 2-3. Next weekend the team will play in the USF Under Armour Invitational in Clearwater, Florida. DiPietro said his team will have to up their game if they want to play well against teams such as Florida Atlantic, Loyola Marymount, and Central Arkansas.
“The teams we’re going to play next week are better than the teams we played here,” DiPietro said. “So we’re going to have to play a lot better, and be more consistent, and raise our level of play. We can’t afford to pitch the way we did here, or hit the way we did here, or obviously play defense the way we did here. We’re going to have to play a lot better.”
Temple plays Florida Atlantic on Friday at 4:30 p.m., and then faces Kennesaw State at 6:45.
Don McDermott can be reached at email@example.com.