April 23, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - A two-run home run with one out in the top of the sixth inning made the difference in the game and Villanova (15-26) managed just one hit in a 4-2 loss to Temple (22-20) in the first game of a doubleheader at the Villanova Softball Complex on Tuesday afternoon. Senior first baseman Valerie Ortega (Ventura, Calif.) singled and scored in a two-run second inning before the Wildcats bats were quieted the rest of the game.
Freshman pitcher Kate Poppe (Downingtown, Pa.) pitched well for six innings and allowed just three hits while striking out eight but was the victim of a rocky sixth inning. Villanova led 2-1 going into the sixth inning but Ali Robinson led off with a double down the left field line and stole third with one out. Stephanie Pasquale then reached on an error which allowed Robinson to score the tying run, and Kelsey Dominik followed with a two-run home run to left center. Poppe (15-19, 2.61 ERA) walked Leah Lucas after the home run but then settled down and struck out two straight batters to end the inning.
The game was scoreless until the Wildcats plated two unearned runs in the bottom of the third inning. After giving up the lead however, Owls pitcher Jessica Mahoney (5-10, 5.82 ERA) retired 13 consecutive batters to end the game. There were runners at first and second with two outs in the bottom of the third inning when she induced a groundball to end the inning, and Villanova then went down in order each inning from the fourth through the seventh. Mahoney walked three, struck out two and hit a batter.
In the bottom of the third inning Villanova scored two runs on a sudden rally with two outs. Senior catcher Amanda Marquez (Miami, Fla.) was hit by a pitch with one out and junior shortstop Ali Lowe (West Palm Beach, Fla.) grounded into a fielder's choice for the second out. After a single up the middle by Ortega sophomore Briana Fujii (San Jose, Calif.) reached on an error which allowed Lowe to score the first run of the game. Ortega made it from first to third on the error and scored on a passed ball moments later.
Temple got one of the runs back in the top of the fourth inning when Lucas doubled off the center field fence with two outs to drive in Sarah Prezioso, who had been hit by a pitch leading off the inning. Prezioso stole second base to get into scoring position and Lucas connected for her sixth double of the year two batters later.
Aside from the hit by Ortega the Wildcats offense was led by sophomore designated player Beth Smetana (San Diego, Calif.), who walked twice. Marquez was also on base twice with a walk and a hit by pitch.
In the second game of the doubleheader Villanova scored all three of its runs in the fifth inning of a 5-0 victory.