CLEARWATER, Fla. – After dropping the first game of the day to Nova Southeastern (13-3), 8-0, the Saint Leo University softball team (6-5) rolled past Palm Beach Atlantic (10-6), 11-3 in the nightcap, Friday evening from the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater, Fla.
SLU missed prime opportunities in two of the first three innings, stranding runners at second and third each time.
Three errors in the second inning also compiled to the Lions problems, as NSU plated two runs to put the Sharks up early in the contest.
NSU struck again in the third inning scoring three runs off of two hits and three more Lions’ errors to make the score 5-0.
The Lions offense remained quiet as the Sharks collected five hits in the fifth inning allowing them to score three more runs giving the opponents the final margin of victory, 8-0.
Even in defeat, Lions’ starter Ashley Urbanik (3-5) threw well for Saint Leo. During the first four innings, Urbanik surrendered only two hits and no unearned runs before NSU strung together four hits in the fifth.
As a team, the Lions committed seven errors in the field, while only collecting six themselves.
Game two was night and day for the Green and Gold, as they battled back from three unanswered runs in the first to overpower the Sailfish.
The game started off as a mirror image of game one, as Palm Beach scored the opening three runs on four hits and two errors.
But soon after, the offensive fireworks began for SLU as catcher Brittany Yates hit a monstrous shot over the centerfield fence to get Saint Leo on the board.
The explosion continued in the third inning as nine straight Lions reached base before PBA recorded an out. Amber Martyn singled home the Lions second run of the night, scoring Ali Lamb from third. Tatiana Casis then took a Heather Laird change up and sent it to the gap for a two-run triple. Ally Maddox then followed with an RBI single knocking home Ashley Urbanik from third. Yates then deposited her second home run deep into the night in leftfield. Tiffinee Harvey capped the inning off with a sacrifice fly to leftfield. In total, Saint Leo scored eight runs on five hits to give them a six-run advantage, 9-3.
SLU refused to quite though as Urbanik and Casis connected on back-to-back round trippers in the fourth inning to extend their lead to the final margin, 11-3. The occurance marks the third time this season a pair of Lions have gone back-to-back.
Lions’ starter Kristen Kelly put the Sailfish down quietly in the fifth to improve her record to 2-0. She scattered ten hits while not allowing a single earned run.
Casis went 4-for-6 on the night, including a home run, a triple and three RBI. Yates wasn’t too far behind going 3-for-5 including a pair of home runs in game two while collecting three RBI. Harvey went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, while both Maddox and Martyn went 2-for-6 with a run scored and an RBI.
The Lions head back to Clearwater Saturday, February 21 for more softball action from the Eckerd Invitational. Tomorrows slate of games kick-off at 11:30 am against Tampa followed by a 4:30 contest against Armstrong Atlantic. Both games can be heard live on the Saint Leo Lions AudioCast Network.