Softball Rallies To Take Two From Temple

Reanna Johnson

Reanna Johnson

April 3, 2012

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WEST POINT, N.Y. - Marina Northup's walk off two-run single with two outs in the bottom of the seventh lifted Army to a 3-2 defeat of Temple in the first game, and her RBI single in a 6-3 nightcap decision knocked in the game winner in a five-run sixth as the Black Knights' rallied for comeback wins in a doubleheader sweep of the Owls Tuesday at the Army Softball Complex.

Freshman hurler Morgan Lashley (16-9) went the distance in both victories as the Black Knights (21-12) extended their win streak to eight straight after snapping Temple's (16-13) six-game win streak. Army also notched its third straight 20-win season under third-year head coach Michelle DePolo.

Army opened the scoring in the fourth inning in the first game when Alexis AuBuchon drew one-out walk, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on freshman Alex Gaff `s two-out single up the middle for a 1-0 lead.

The Owls erased that deficit on Sarah Prezioso's two-run triple with two outs in the top of the fifth inning for a 2-1 advantage. Lashley, who was touched for two of her three hits in that frame, stranded Prezioso at third base on a flyout to left field and went on to retire the side in the sixth and seventh innings with the last two batters swinging in fanning five in the complete-game victory.

The Black Knights rallied in the seventh on Northup's lone hit of the game after she had been hit twice in her three previous at bats. With two outs and bases loaded on walks, Northup took a one-two pitch and sent it into left field scoring Rachael Duval with the tying run and April Ortenzo with the go-ahead run on her walk-off single.

Temple took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third in the nightcap on Ali Robinson's two-out double, but Lashley avoided further damage by stranding runners in the corners, then denied the Owls when they threatened with a runner at third in the top of the fourth inning.

Army tied the score 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth on senior third baseman's Clara Navarro's two-out solo home run, the first round tripper of her career, when she took a 2-2 pitch and sent it over the left field fence. Temple capitalized on a pair of hits and a walk for a pair of runs in the top of the fifth to retake the lead, 3-1, but Lashley kept the Owls off the scoreboard over the final two frames.

The Black Knights battled back from that two-run deficit in the bottom of the sixth inning capitalizing on four hits and three errors to push across five runs. Army got off a quick start when AuBuchon reached on an error by the third baseman. She gave way to pinch runner Ashton Wolf, who moved up a base on designated player Rae Anne Payleitner's base hit up the middle.

With runners at first and second and no outs, senior Reanna Johnson took the first pitch from Capri Catalano (4-6) and drilled it for a double to the gap in center field to deliver Wolf and Payleitner to tie the game 3-3. Johnson moved to third on the throw home to set the stage for Northup, who entered the second game as a pinch hitter. Her base hit to left field scored Johnson with the go ahead run that put Army up 4-3.

Northup headed to second base on that play and was safe when the second baseman dropped the ball on the throw from the outfield in keeping Army's rally alive. Navarro reached on a throwing error by the third baseman and Northup scored on that miscue. Following back-to-back outs, Ortenzo took a full count pitch and ripped a double up the middle to advance Navarro to third base. A wild pitch scored Navarro as Army padded its lead to 6-3.

Army collected seven hits in the nightcap and three in the opener with Northup going 2-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored in the twinbill.

The Black Knights head to Hamilton, N.Y., Easter weekend for a key four-game series with the Colgate, tied with Army and Lehigh for first place following 4-0 marks the opening weekend of competition. The Raiders, the 20l1 regular-season champions, were picked second behind Lehigh in the preseason poll with Army tabbed third.

DIAMOND NOTES: Morgan Lashley had nine strikeouts in the twinbill and held the Owls to a .184 batting average ... Army trails Temple in the all-time series, 8-5, but Army swept the last two doubleheaders ...the Black Knights have won nine straight games at home where Army shows a .336 batting average and stingy 1.65 ERA ... four Black Knights are batting over .400 in home games with Rae Anne Payleitner hitting .529 (9-for-17) with 12 RBI and five runs scored ... Alexis AuBuchon (.464) has scored 11 times and driven in 12 runs and April Ortenzo is the leader in hits with 16.

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