CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Temple softball team trailed 2-1 in the fifth inning before exploding for seven runs in the frame to earn a come-from-behind win over Dayton on Wednesday, May 11, at the Atlantic 10 Championship. The fourth-seeded Owls defeated the sixth-seeded Flyers, 9-5, to advance to the next day of play.
Dayton took a 1-0 lead in the first after Rachel Archer led off with a single and eventually scored from second on a Brandy Brown single to right field. The Flyers went up 2-0 with another run in the third. Alicia Nichols walked to open the inning, was sacrificed to second, and scored on Kathleen Maloof's single down the left field line.
The Owls got one back in the bottom of the fourth inning when freshman Sarah Prezioso sent a shot over the right field fence. The homerun was the team-leading ninth of the season for the shortstop, which sets a Temple rookie record for round trippers in a season.
Still trailing 2-1, Temple exploded for seven runs in the fifth, banging out five hits and taking advantage of two errors in the frame. Two of the hits were for extra bases, including a bases-clearing double to centerfield from junior Rachel Knable. Junior Christina Sykora also had a double in the inning.
Dayton came right back in the top of the sixth, beginning with a Lauren Nacke solo homerun off the left field foul pole to cut it to 8-3. Brandy Brown followed with a double off the center field wall, and Courtney Kutsulis drove her in with a single to right field. Two more singles from the Flyers loaded the bases with no outs. TU pitcher Kristen Marris got pinch hitter Megan Barrett to strike out and induced a sacrifice fly from pinch hitter Kasi Vazquez to get two quick outs with the score at 8-5. Archer singled again to load the bags, but Maloof flied out to left field to end the inning.
The Cherry and White added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth on a Dayton error.
Thanks to a routine fly ball and two spectacular defensive plays from Sykora and Knable, the Owls sat the Flyers down in order in the top of the seventh to hang on for the 9-5 win.
Marris (16-11) went the distance, giving up 12 hits and five earned runs while striking out four and walking one. Alysha Isaacson (12-13) took the loss, pitching 6.0 innings, allowing seven hits and two earned runs.
Knable, junior Samantha Schoell and freshman Devynn Nelons were each 2-for-4 for the Owls. Knable added three RBI.
Temple is 22-22 overall and will play a team to be determined tomorrow at 6 p.m.
After a 6-3 loss to #3 Saint Joseph's earlier in the day, Dayton is eliminated from the double-elimination tournament.