Series vs. Butler key for softball

Looking to rebound off their first Atlantic 10 Conference double-header sweep at the hands of St. Louis, the Owls head north Sunday to take on Butler.

Temple (19-20, 7-5 A-10) put up just five runs in two games against the Billikens Saturday and dropped both games.

Coach Joe DiPietro said the team must win both games Sunday to keep themselves in line with the rest of the top teams in the conference. But the struggles of the pitching staff have haunted his squad of late.

Junior Brooklin White coughed up seven earned runs in the second game Saturday without recording a single out. Outside of freshman Kelsey Dominik, DiPietro said he’s unsure who he’ll put on the mound against the Bulldogs.

“I don’t know at this point,” DiPietro said. “Obviously Kelsey will get one of the games… It’s almost to the point where we’re going to flip a coin.”

The first game begins at noon in Indianapolis.

Softball prepares for St. Louis

The Owls (19-18, 7-3 Atlantic 10 Conference) kick off a four-game weekend with the opener of their weekend set against St. Louis (17-17, 5-5 A-10).

Temple enters Friday’s game, the first of two against the Billikens, 3-3 in their past six games. The game will be a challenge offensively and for the pitching staff.

The Billikens sport two of the better pitchers in the conference in freshman Laney Kneib (9-5, 2.64 earned run average) and freshman Brianna Lore (8-12, 2.76 ERA) and the staff has allowed just 11 homeruns this season.. Temple counters with the three-four combination of junior shortstop Sarah Prezioso and junior catcher Stephanie Pasquale.

On the flip side, St. Louis boasts the best base stealer in the A-10. Senior outfielder Jessica Buschjost has swiped 22 bases in 24 attempts, and has scored 18 runs this season. Freshman Kelsey Dominik, who pitched Wednesday against Monmouth, is the only Owl with a sub-4.00 ERA, but only one Billiken is hitting more than .300 this season.

Friday’s game begins at 3 p.m. First pitch on Saturday is scheduled for noon.

Mother Nature could alter softball schedule

The weather could play a factor in Friday’s game.

With storms in the area the Owls (17-16, 6-2 Atlantic 10 Conference) may have to push back their Friday contest with Dayton (16-15, 7-2 A-10) to Saturday. It would create yet another double-header.

Regardless of when the games are played the two-game series is pivotal for Temple in the conference standings. Five teams have a conference record higher than .500, with a sharp drop off after that.

The Owls currently sit in a tie for third with Massachusetts. They are a half game behind the Flyers and a full game behind St. Joseph’s. Fordham is 7-3 in A-10 play.

Temple already handed the first conference loss of the season to the Hawks, and will need to win at least one this weekend to stay at or near the top of the A-10.

Junior catcher Stephanie Pasquale is looking to extend her 17-game hitting streak. She’s hitting .600 during the streak with an on-base percentage of .639, as well as 30 runs batted in and seven homeruns.

If the weather holds Friday’s game is set for 3 p.m. Saturday the Owls begin play at noon, but that may change if there’s a double-header.

Pasquale, Dominik collect conference honors

It was a big week for two Owls on the diamond.

Junior catcher Stephanie Pasquale won Atlantic 10 Conference Softball Player of the Week while freshman pitcher Kelsey Dominik was named the Rookie of the Week.

Pasquale earned the award largely for her efforts in Sunday’s double-header over St. Bonaventure when she went 9-9 in both games with four homeruns, seven runs scored and 11 runs batted in. On the week she went 15-22 at the plate with five long balls, four doubles and 21 RBIs.

Dominik was solid on the mound for Temple, going 2-0 in three appearances (two starts). She pitched 12.1 innings, surrendering six earned runs. The rookie ace was also hot at the plate, hit .333 in 21 plate appearances with three homers and 10 RBIs. She plays first and third base when not toeing the rubber.

Both will look to continue their hot streaks this week in conference battles against St. Joe’s and Dayton. Pasquale is looking to extend her hitting streak past 15 games.

Former Owl Staley headed to Hall

Former Owls’ coach Dawn Staley, who was instrumental in rebuilding a program nearly left for dead at the turn of the century, has cemented herself among some of the greatest to play the game of basketball.

The winningest coach in program history will be a part of the 2013 Basketball Hall of Fame class.

While not nominated for her coaching prowess at Temple—where she went 172-80 in eight seasons and three-straight Atlantic 10 Conference Championships along with six NCAA Tournament appearances—and the University of South Carolina, she was nominated for her skills on the court preceding her coaching career.

Staley played high school ball at Dobbins Tech, in Philadelphia, before becoming a force at Virginia and eventually winning three Olympic gold medals with Team USA.

Staley responded to the announcement on Twitter, saying, “How incredible it is to be amongst greatness?!! I’m still I’m shock….and dreaming. Don’t wake me! 🙂 #2013HOF.”

According to, Staley told in February that she had two goals in basketball, “I wanted to be an Olympian and be a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame.”

Now she has both.

Hawks, Owls will begin double-header tomorrow

The Owls (16-15, 5-1 Atlantic 10 Conference) kick off a tough conference week Tuesday when they host St. Joseph’s (21-3, 6-0 A-10) in a double-header.

The battle features two of the top hitting teams in the conference—St. Joe’s with .296 (3rd) and Temple with .295 (4th).

The differences between the two squads end there. The Hawks boast the best pitching rotation in the A-10, with a 1.78 earned run average, nearly a full run better than George Washington in second. Temple, meanwhile, is second-to-last with a 5.85 team ERA. The Hawks have allowed just 44 earned with 170 hits while the Owls have surrendered 163 earned and 272 hits.

But the Owls hold the advantage in team defense, with the top-ranked fielding percentage, .966 and 12 double-plays turned. The Hawks are ninth with a .952 fielding percentage and have only turned four double-plays.

The game also sports several of the top hitters in the conference. Junior catcher Stephanie Pasquale is hitting a conference-leading .485 with 47 runs batted in for Temple. St. Joe’s, meanwhile, has three of the top seven hitters in terms of average, led by freshman infielder Sarah Yoos, third in the A-10 with a .409 average.

The first half of the double-header is set for 3 p.m.

Softball begins road trip vs. Wagner

The Owls hit the road Thursday for the first time in almost two weeks, and leave Pennsylvania for the first time since March 17.

Temple (12-15, 3-1 Atlantic 10 Conference) heads to Staten Island, N.Y. to face Wagner (4-21, 0-6 Northeast Conference) in their second straight double-header.

The team is coming off a series split against Lafayette in which pitching proved to be the deciding factor for the Owls in both games.

With junior Brooklin White roughed up in the first game and sophomore Jessica Mahoney going the distance in a 9-0, five-inning second game it appears coach Joe DiPietro might send out freshman Jessica Tolmie, who has been battling for the second slot in the rotation, for one of the two games.

Fellow freshman Kelsey Dominik, who has come out of nowhere to become the team’s ace this season, will likely get the starting nod in one of the games as well.

The Seahawks are led on offense by freshman outfielder Abigail Beasley, who is hitting .357 on the season in 70 plate appearances. The team’s ace is sophomore Samantha Bedker, who is 3-6 with a 4.90 earned run average.

The first pitch for game one is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

Softball set for Lafayette

Temple kicks off a mini stretch of non-conference games this week beginning Tuesday with their first of four straight double-headers.

The Owls (11-14, 3-1 Atlantic 10 Conference) host Lafayette (6-15, 1-3 Patriot League) in their final two games of the six-game homestand.

Temple is coming off a five-game winning streak, with its last three wins decided by two runs or less. It is the longest winning streak of the season.

Junior catcher Stephanie Pasquale is riding a nine-game hitting streak as well, and has reached base in 11 consecutive.

The Leopards come in on a three-game skid, after winning just the first of a four-game series against conference foe Holy Cross.

They’re led at the plate by freshman infielder Brittany Paul who boasts a .296 average with seven runs scored. The team only has three homeruns this season. On the mound junior Melissa Robinson (5-10) leads the team with a 4.22 earned run average with 56 strikeouts.

The first game is set to start at 3 p.m. in Ambler, Pa.

White will start for Owls

Junior Brooklin White will get the nod on the mound today for the Owls.

The eldest member of the pitching staff continues her fight for the second slot in the rotation against Charlotte (14-11, 2-1 Atlantic 10 Conference). White boasts a 2-5 record in nine appearances with an 8.16 earned run average, which ranks third on the team.

In 34.1 innings of work her walks and hits per innings pitched is 2.40 while striking out just 11, last on the team with more than 20 innings of work.

The Owls (11-14, 2-1 A-10) are looking to sweep their two game series with the 49ers after knocking four homeruns in a 9-7 victory Thursday. Another win would push the Owls over Charlotte in the standings and in the top quarter overall.

The first pitch is set for 3 p.m. in Ambler.

Temple to host Charlotte at Ambler

The Owls, after further schedule juggling in which their double-header Tuesday was canceled due to weather, return to the field Thursday in Atlantic 10 Conference action.

Temple (9-14, 1-1 in the A-10) hosts Charlotte at Ambler for its third conference matchup of the season and the opener of a two-game series against the 49ers.

The Owls are coming off arguably their best weekend of the season after splitting their two-game series with La Salle and sweeping St. Francis (PA) in a Sunday twin bill. Their 3-1 run has been fueled by a solid pitching performance in all four games, something coach Joe DiPietro will want to see continue in the two games this weekend.

With junior Brooklin White and freshman Jessica Tolmie having pitched Sunday it is possible DiPietro will hand the ball to freshman Kelsey Dominik, who is 4-1 on the season.

The first pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.