Tampa, Fla. (April 12, 2008) – The No. 16 Saint Leo softball team (28-12, 9-6 SSC) split a conference doubleheader with the University of Tampa (28-8, 11-4 SSC) on Saturday afternoon at the UT Softball Complex. The Lions shut down the Spartans bats in the first game winning 2-0, while Tampa rallied for five runs in a two-inning span to win 5-3 in game two and seure the series win.
The Lions combined for nine hits on the afternoon. Elysha Agen (Fr., Palm Harbor, Fla.) led the Lions going 3-for-7 with two RBI. April Slate (Sr., Land O’Lakes, Fla.) went a combined 2-for-5 with two runs scored. Ashley Urbanik (Jr., Riverview, Fla.) went 2-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI in the doubleheader. Tatiana Casis (Jr., Port St. Lucie, Fla.) went 2-for-7 with a double and an RBI.
Urbanik (20-7) picked up her 20th win of the season in the first game, while breaking a personal three-game losing streak. She went seven full innings giving up only one hit while striking out seven Spartans in the shutout. The Lions scoring began with a two-out rally in the third inning. Slate reached on an infield single and followed it up by stealing second and advancing to third on a fielding error by the Spartans second baseman. Agen knocked Slate home with line drive up the middle to give the Lions a 1-0 lead.
After three more innings of scoreless ball, Saint Leo added an insurance run, as Casis and Urbanik ripped back-to-back doubles to deep centerfield to make the score 2-0. Urbanik set the Spartans down in order to close out the game. The win broke the Lions four-game losing streak.
Game two looked like it was going to fall in the Lions favor, as they took a 1-0 lead when Urbanik scored on a Spartans fielding error in the fourth inning after reaching with a double. The Spartans struck back in the bottom of the inning, scoring two runs to take a 2-1 lead.
The Lions answered the challenge in the top of the fifth inning scoring two runs of their own. Slate singled and stole second and scored following an Agen single. After an Amanda Patrick (Fr., Tampa, Fla.) walk, Casis lined a single through the left side to score Agen from second making the score 3-2. The Lions didn’t hold the lead though, as Tampa scored three times in the bottom of the fifth inning. Saint Leo failed to answer in the final two innings giving the Spartans the series win.
Kiki VonHolt (Sr., New Port Richey, Fla.) threw five innings and surrendered five unearned runs on just four hits in the loss (7-5).
The Lions return to the field Wednesday, April 16 as they head to Georgia to take on the No. 20 Valdosta State Blazers in non-conference doubleheader action beginning at 5:00 p.m.