Clearwater, Fla. (2/28/14) – It was a battle of the Owls all day Friday as Temple softball took on Florida Atlantic and Kennesaw State. The Florida Atlantic Owls and Kennesaw State Owls beat the Temple Owls 1-0 and 5-4 respectively in the USF Under Armour Invitational.
The opening day wasn’t in the favor of the Owls of the north as FAU squeaked out a 1-0 victory in the opener.
Temple’s ace Kelsey Dominik was on the mound for the Owls as Florida Atlantic countered with one of their best in Amanda Wilson. The lone run of the game came in the bottom of the first as 2B Mellissa Martinez drove in a run with a RBI groundout. FAU got the run home after a Temple error, which they had three in the game, and a sac bunt moving the runners into scoring position with one out.
Temple was 1-6 with runners in scoring position but failed to bring home any runs in the game. Once again the Owls couldn’t support their SP as Dominik, who had a complete game shutout, falls to (1-2) on the season with a microscopic 2.33 ERA.
FAU starter Amanda Wilson goes to (3-1) on the year after shutting out the Owls in five innings and RP Samantha Messer earned the save (1) pitching two scoreless innings.
Temple goes to (2-4) on the season while FAU jumps .500 at (8-7).
The Owls faced Kennesaw State later in the day and another L was put in the loss column as Temple fell 5-4. The Owls traded runs in the first as CF Sara Sikes knocked in a run on a RBI single for Kennesaw State and SS Sarah Prezioso led off the bottom of the first with a solo HR.
3B Kelsey Dominik, who started the previous game for Temple, doubled in a run in the third as Temple was off to an early lead 2-1. Kennesaw State answered with a RBI single by C Angie Dascoli to tie the game up by two. SS Missy Perkowski put Kennesaw State ahead with a solo shot in the sixth to make the game 3-2. Temple down by one, managed to score on back to back HBP and tie the game at three the seventh.
Pain is temporary but a win lasts forever.
State’s SP Paige Mathews, despite having a WHIP over 2.00, managed to let up only three runs in 6.1 innings. Temple, desperately looking for a shutout inning in extras, let up a single to Perkowski with one out. Owls SP Amanda Gatt put in serious work for Temple as she was counted on to pitch past the seventh and fatigue got to her in the eighth.
With a runner placed on second, due to extra inning softball rules, CF Lacey McKeon got down a bunt single moving the runner to third. C Stephanie Pasquale followed with a clutch sac fly to drive the runner in as the cherry and white Owls weren’t done.
The Owls clad in black and yellow looked to take control in the ninth. A leadoff catastrophic error by 1B Kaylyn Zierke put runners on the corners with no outs. Temple needed to hold State but LF Natalie Rhodes drove in the pivotal fifth run on a sac fly to take a 5-4 lead. Gatt would go on to hold them to just one as Temple would once again look to come back.
Leah Lucas, hitting .300 coming into the game, put down a sac bunt to move the runner to third with one out. LF Annie Marcopolus couldn’t come up clutch as she hit a weak pop up to third and the winning run was stranded. Zierke, looking to make up for her previous error in the top of the inning, grounded out to short as Temple dropped another close affair.
It was a gut wrenching loss for the Owls and SP Amanda Gatt (1-1) as she went 9.0 innings pitching a complete game letting up only three unearned runs. Kennesaw State RP Amanda Henderson (1-0) earned the win going 2.2 innings and striking out three.
3B Kelsey Dominik continued her MVP performance for Temple going 3-5 at the plate and raising her average to .455. SS Missy Perkowski was lethal for Kennesaw State going 3-4 with a homer and two RBI.
The Owls (2-5) continue their tournament run against Loyola Marymount and Central Arkansas tomorrow.