CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Temple softball team dropped its opening round game against Charlotte at the Atlantic 10 Championship, being held at UNC Charlotte's D.L. Phillips Softball Complex on May 11-14, 2011. The fourth-seeded Owls dropped a 3-0 game to the fifth-seeded 49ers to fall into the consolation bracket of the championship.
It was a pitcher's duel right off the bat, with the teams combining for just five hits heading into the sixth inning. TU pitcher Kristen Marris actually carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning before Charlotte finally got to her. The 49ers touched her for three hits in the fifth, but couldn't generate a run despite loading the bases with just one out.
It was not until the top of the seventh that Charlotte took advantage of its hits. The 49ers pounded out three more in the inning, and this time, they made them count. Jalisa Rock led off the frame with a single through the right side. Two outs and one walk later, Whitney Williams stepped in and delivered a two-run double past a diving Christina Sykora in left field to finally put some runs on the board. Kendra McCall followed with another double, this one to left center, to drive in Williams for the third run.
The Cherry and White had a glimmer of hope to open the bottom of the seventh when Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year Stephanie Pasquale reached on an error, but Charlotte pitcher Katy Hackett closed out the complete-game shutout with two fly outs and a strikeout.
Marris and junior Meaghan Marley were the only two Owls to collect hits in the contest. Hackett (20-10) struck out seven and walked none. Marris (15-11) went the distance for Temple, giving up six hits, fanning five and walking two.
TU is 21-22 overall and will face the loser of today's second game between third-seeded Saint Joseph's and sixth-seeded Dayton at 6 p.m. this evening. A win will put the Owls in the 6 p.m. game tomorrow evening. A loss will end the season.