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After one of the most outstanding individual season’s in Temple softball history, junior Stephanie Pasquale (Pompton Lakes, N.J./Pompton Lakes) has added another honor to her record-setting year, earning 2013 NFCA Division I Third-Team All-American status, announced by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association on Wednesday, May 29. Pasquale becomes the first softball player in Owls’ history to earn All-American honors.

Earlier this month, Pasquale became just the third Temple player in school history to earn the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year honor. Also a first-team all-conference and all-championship selection, she led the squad and the conference with a .465 overall average, hitting .552 in conference play. The catcher set a Temple and Atlantic 10 single-season record for RBI this year with 80, and is currently second in the country with 1.38 per game. The junior is the toughest player in the nation to strikeout, doing so only three times in 187 at bats. Earlier in the year, she put together a 21-game hit streak and ended the season reaching base safely in the final 16 contests. Her record-setting campaign also includes TU single-season marks for doubles (21), batting average (.465) and home runs (15).

After their record breaking season’s, Temple softball’s Stephanie Pasquale (Pompton Lakes, N.J./Pompton Lakes) and Sarah Prezioso (Bloomfield, N.J./Bloomfield) have earned a spot on the 2013 NFCA Division I All-Northeast Region First Team, announced by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association on Thursday, May 16. Pasquale lands on the team for the second time in her career, making the squad as a freshman, while Prezioso picks up the honor for the first time.

The all-region teams were chosen by NFCA member coaches from each respective region, and all the honorees now become eligible for selection to one of three 2013 NFCA Division I All-American teams. In addition, conference pitchers and players of the year not selected to the regional teams were added for All-America consideration.

Earlier this month, Pasquale became just the third Temple player in school history to earn the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year honor. Also a first-team all-conference and all-tournament selection, she led the squad and the conference with a .465 overall average, hitting .552 in conference play. The catcher set a Temple and Atlantic 10 single-season record for RBI this year with 80, and currently leads the country with 1.38 per game. The junior is also the toughest player in the nation to strikeout, doing so only three times in 187 at bats. Earlier this year, she put together a 21-game hit streak and ended the season reaching base safely in the final 16 contests. Her record-setting campaign also includes single-season marks for doubles (21), batting average (.465) and home runs (15).

Finishing just behind Pasquale in batting with a .427 average, Prezioso also established her own school and conference records, scoring 65 runs, which is good for 11th in the country with a 1.12 average. The first-team all-conference selection has also set school single-season records for stolen bases (32) and homeruns (15). The junior shortstop ended the year by reaching base safely in the final 35 games, dating back to March 28.

The Cherry & White finished the year at 32-26, setting a school record for wins in a season. The team earned a third-place finish at the A-10 Tournament, its final year in the league, which is the highest finish for the Owls since winning it in 2004

Temple junior Stephanie Pasquale has added another award to her already impressive list this season. The catcher has been named to the 2013 Atlantic 10 Softball All-Championship Team, announced by conference officials at the conclusion of the Championship on Saturday, May 11, 2013.

The A-10 Tournament was held in Amherst, Mass., at Elaine Sortino Field from May 8-11. Second-seeded Fordham defeated #1 Saint Joseph’s, 6-5, in the final game to claim the title.

Pasquale carried her already record-setting season performance into the postseason, batting .500 (7-for-14) in a 2-2 tournament for the team with a double, a homerun and six RBI. Her double in a game against #5 Saint Louis gave her 42 in her career, establishing a new Temple career record. The homer she hit came in the final game for the Owls and gave her 15 on the season, tying two other teammates for the TU single-season record.

For the second straight week and the third time this season, freshman Elena Bowman (San Mateo, Calif.) of the Manhattan College softball team has been named Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Rookie of the Week. Bowman hit a combined .636 with a home run, four RBIs and three runs scored in doubleheaders against Rider and Fairfield last weekend.

In game one of Manhattan’s doubleheader against Rider on Saturday, Bowman went 2-for-2 with a double, two runs scored and two RBIs. Despite not recording a hit in the second game, she reached base twice on a walk and a hit by pitch. Then in the first game of the twinbill at Fairfield on Sunday, Bowman finished a triple short of the cycle. She got the Jaspers on the board with a solo home run in the fifth inning, then delivered the go-ahead RBI single in the sixth. Bowman was 4-for-4 with a run scored and two RBIs in the contest. She then broke up a no-hitter with a sixth-inning single in the nightcap.

Bowman was previously named MAAC Rookie of the Week on March 18 and April 8, and she also earned MAAC Player of the Week honors. She leads the Jaspers and the MAAC with 10 home runs, the third-highest single-season in program history. Bowman also boasts a team-best .384 batting average, and her 28 RBIs are the second-most in the conference. In addition, her .791 slugging percentage and .514 on-base percentage are the best in the MAAC.
The Jaspers (14-16, 6-2 MAAC) host Albany (21-10) for a non-conference doubleheader at 3 p.m. on Tuesday before resuming their MAAC schedule by visiting Canisius (17-14, 2-2 MAAC) on Saturday and Niagara (4-22, 1-4 MAAC) on Sunday.

To say that Andrew Dundon is hot, and to say that he burns to succeed, are two different things on the baseball field for Marshall.

The Thundering Herd’s sophomore second baseman leads his team in hitting (.339) as Marshall (13-19, 3-3 Conference USA) heads to Southern Miss (15-17, 5-4) to open a crucial three-game series Friday. Dundon ranks fifth in the league in hitting, too.

Batting into the No. 2 hole for Coach Jeff Waggoner’s club, Dundon (pronounced DUN-dun) would seem an unlikely leader with the stick, until the Lincoln Park, N.J., resident explains.

“This (Marshall) was my only offer, and I had to take advantage of it,” the 5-foot-10, 190-pound Dundon said. “I’ve just worked hard since I came here. I don’t know why no one else recruited me. (Herd assistant coach Joe) Renner saw me playing in North Carolina during my sophomore year.

“I thought I’d get more interest, but it didn’t happen. Yeah, definitely it makes you feel like you have something to prove. It always happens in all sports, kids, they get overlooked and then actually fuels them more.

“You feel kind of like, not so much disrespected, but it does put more fuel on the fire to prove all the other people wrong. I wasn’t ranked at all in high school.”

After playing short and pitching at Boonton High in northern New Jersey and making third team all-state, Dundon began his freshman season as the Herd’s starting shortstop. That didn’t last long … then, neither did his .154 batting average through mid-March last season.

In April a year ago, Dundon moved to second base and he hit .409 for the month. He finished at .264, playing in 53 games as a true freshman. And Waggoner thought Dundon was going to make strides in 2013 – which he has.

“I did think he’d have a good year,” Waggoner said. “He works really hard. He put on 15 pounds of muscle and he’s really worked hard on his swing. And he trusts himself. That’s a big thing in hitting.

“You’re not always going to have results with the quality (at-bats), so that’s important and he’s worked hard. A lot of hitting is just confidence. When you get stronger and you work hard and you swing, the results will start happening for you.”

Dundon, batting .417 in C-USA games, was 7-for-13 last weekend as the Herd took two of three from nationally ranked Houston.

“I haven’t really changed my swing much. I’m just seeing the ball better,” said Dundon, 19, who has 14 RBIs. “I’m hopping on the fastball early or trying to work counts. If I get a fastball early, I’m not going to be taking it, because not too many guys can blow it by me.

“So, I go up there confident knowing I can drive any pitch, even if it’s two strikes. The adjustment is that last year at first, I was just trying to make contact, hit the ball to the opposite field. Now, I’m hitting to all fields, changed my routine, and that’s the difference maybe between hitting .270 and hitting .300.”

Dundon said he also has the advantage of hitting behind productive Herd leadoff man Isaac Ballou (.315 BA, .430 OB%) and club RBI leader Nathan Gomez in the 3-spot.

“Hitting in the 2-hole, it is an advantage because they’ll throw me a lot of fastballs,” Dundon said. “But now since they know me a little bit, they’ve been throwing me a lot of curves. This past weekend, I hardly saw a fastball, but that’s just an adjustment I have to make.

“Hitting No. 2 is good for me because they see a guy like Gomez behind me and the damage he can do, so they go after me. And if Ballou’s on first, they don’t want him stealing. So, I do see lot of 2-hole fastballs.”

Dundon said the switch from shortstop, with its added defensive responsibilities, has helped him relax. But Waggoner said most of Dundon’s improvement is his work ethic and his knowledge of a game he has played since he was age 6, a game on which he concentrated in high school after he “figured out I wasn’t going to play big-time college basketball,” he said, laughing.

“Drew’s got a good approach at the plate,” Waggoner said. “He gets out front, stays to the middle of the field and keeps his hands inside the ball, so he’s always going to have pretty good, quality at-bats. And that’s all we ask from our hitters. Have quality at-bats and the hits will come.”

Dundon’s 4-for-5 day in Sunday’s loss to Houston at Appalachian Power Park in the only Herd four-hit game this season. Ballou is the team’s only other plus-.300 hitter, at .315, after a 3-for-4 night in a loss Wednesday at Ohio State.

“I was pretty confident coming into this season,” Dundon said. “I just wanted to play my game, hit line drives, not try to do too much. I’m not a guy who gets really caught up in stats, but over time they’ll add up.

“Like Coach (Waggoner) says, `It’s all about the process.’ Work hard and the results will come. I try to take it one AB at a time and stay in the present, because this game is hard enough and if you can’t hit …. It’s a great feeling knowing that I’m doing well, but we have a ways to go.

“I feel like I can improve on everything. I come to work every day, work on things, my range … There’s always something as player should work on. You should never not be working on something.’

The next two weeks are huge for the Herd, trying to make the eight-team C-USA Tournament field (one team sits home, as the Herd did in 2011 and ’12).

Marshall’s two wins in the Houston series stunned the league, and now MU goes to Southern Miss and UCF (18-16, 4-5) before coming home to Power Park for three with Tulane (17-18, 4-5) from April 26-28.

“This is a big stretch coming up,” Dundon said. “Last weekend was the biggest turning point of the conference run for us. We were 1-2 going into it, and everyone figured we’d get swept by Houston and we got out and win two of three and we’ve got great confidence.

“Now, if we go to Southern Miss and can take the series, at least two of three, and then do the same at UCF … If we can stay away from getting swept by both of them, I think we’d stand pretty well into the week after that for making the conference tournament.”

That, like Dundon’s play, would be different from his freshman year.