Winter Haven, Fla. (3/4/14) – The Owls picked up two huge 7-4 victories Tuesday over Saint Francis (PA) and Niagara in Winter Haven, Fla. The achilles heel of the 2014 season for Temple has been letting the opposition score first in the contest. They got the memo early against Saint Francis (PA) as they dropped four on the Red Flash in the second. 1B Kaylyn Zierke knocked in the game’s first run with an RBI single and SS Sarah Prezioso hit a three run bomb to give the Owls a 4-0 lead in the second.
3B Kelsey Dominik added another run for Temple as she scored on an error in the third. SP Jessica Mahoney was back on the mound for Temple after her hard fought loss against Mount Saint Mary’s. With five runs to work with, she didn’t have to press as much on the mound like she did the previous game. After holding the Red Flash scoreless in the first two frames, Prezioso booted a ball which led to two unearned runs.
With the score 5-2, 2B Leah Lucas made sure the Owls stayed on top with a two run single in the fourth. She finished 2-3 on the game with two RBI and a run.
St. Francis (PA), undefeated on the season at (6-0), was looking to storm back avoid their first blemish. In the bottom of the fifth, Mahoney let the first two SFU players to reach via single then offered up a RBI double by Russian SS Davina Kachnowitz. With runners in scoring position and nobody out, Mahoney needed to step up and stop the bleeding. She did just that getting Alexis Bower to groundout while holding the runners. The Red Flash added a run on a sac fly but couldn’t drive in the other as Mahoney got the final hitter out on a flyout to end the inning.
She was pulled in the sixth after giving up two singles with two outs.Temple called on Amanda Gatt, who recently had a rough outing against Central Arkansas, to lock down the game for the Owls. She came up huge getting the final hitter out as Temple led 7-4 into the final inning.
Gatt endured a jam in the ninth as she allowed two SFU hitters to reach and Pasquale let up a passed ball to put runners on second and third with only one out. With the tying runner at the plate the Temple starter got a pop up for the second out which held the runners. With two down and avoiding a serious scare, the freshman got the final Red Flash hitter to fly out and secure a 7-4 Owls victory.
It was the first win for the Owls since Feb. 22. Jessica Mahoney (1-2) picked up her first win of the season and Gatt picked up her first save combining to let up only two earned runs. Red Flash SP Alexis Bower (2-1) had a rough time getting Temple hitters out going 3.2 innings letting up seven runs on five hits and three walks. The Owls go to (3-8) on the season while the Red Flash are undefeated no more at (6-1).
Temple faced Niagara shortly after and as fast as they took advantage their first game, Niagara felt the pain even earlier.
After a 1 2 3 first, SP Kelsey Dominik helped out her own cause with a two run homer to give Temple the lead in the first. 2B Leah Lucas followed with a single and scored on the next play as the RF for Niagara committed an error to give the Owls a 3-0 lead. Temple’s bats kept on rolling as SS Sarah Prezioso ignited the charge in the bottom of the second with a triple. After CF Lacey McKeon hit her home with a single,1B Stephanie Pasquale followed with a RBI double.
She was replaced by PR Stephanie Haug who scored on a sac fly by 2B Leah Lucas. Temple had a 6-0 lead heading into the third. Was something in the air in Winter Haven to make the Temple offense, the same one that couldn’t muster over three runs on a consistent basis, this productive?
Dominik was stellar on the mound punching out six Niagara hitters in the first four innings. The Purple Eagles finally got on the board in the fifth on a Ambur Farmer RBI single. Lucas, trying to outperform her RBI single, went yard in the bottom of the inning as Temple was back on top by six.
C Amanda Werth knocked home the second run with a RBI single for Niagara following a leadoff double as the Purple Eagles were looking to put another run together. Dominik wanted no part of it as she got the next three NU hitters out to end the sixth.
Temple let their starter go the full seven. CF Katelyn Gruarin made her impact felt at the top of the seventh with a two RBI triple but it wasn’t enough as Dominik shut the door on the Purple Eagles comeback.
The Owls SP (2-3) went a complete 7.0 innings allowing four runs on eight hits and had nine strikeouts. NU starter Bridget Hogan (1-2) also pitched a complete game going a surprising 6.0 innings letting up seven runs on eight hits and had six strikeouts.
Temple, now (4-8), looks to keep their winning streak in tact against Sacred Heart and Niagara on Thursday.