CLEARWATER, Fla. – Saturday started out much of the same way Friday did for the Saint Leo University softball team (7-6), with a head-scratching five-inning loss, this time to SSC rival Tampa, 11-0. But the nightcap proved to be sweet once again for SLU, as they even out their trip to Clearwater with a 9-8 decision over Armstrong Atlantic at the Eckerd College Invitational.
The day did not start as planned for SLU as the team quickly found themselves in a 3-0 deficit after three Spartans connected for base hits in the first inning. Those three runs eventually proved to be the difference as the usually noisy Saint Leo bats were only able to register one hit, a lead-off single by Lions’ centerfielder Tiffinee Harvey, the rest of the day.
The two teams traded zeros until the fifth inning when the Spartans broke the game open with eight runs on five hits and two Saint Leo errors to give the visitors from Tampa an 11-0 lead.
SLU couldn’t respond in the bottom half of the inning as they dropped their second five-inning decision in two days.
Kristen Kelly (2-1) was saddled with the loss giving up eight hits and six runs over a four-inning stretch.
In game two, the Green and Gold flipped the switch and immediately jumped all over an impressive Armstrong Atlantic team, 2-0. Ashley Urbanik launched her second home run in as many days over the left field fence to drove home Amber Martyn who had earlier reached on a double.
SLU continued the scoring in the second as Lions’ freshman third baseman Danielle Moreda sent a double down the left field line before moving to third on a Harvey single. Moreda eventually scored when Harvey was caught trying to steal second to give SLU the 3-0 lead.
After the Pirates broke onto the scoreboard in the bottom of the second, the Lions immediately responded as the duo of Urbanik and Tatiana Casis sent back-to-back home runs over the left and centerfield fences to give the Lions a 5-1 advantage. The occasion marks the fourth time a pair of Lions have gone back-to-back this season.
With the score 5-2 in favor of the Lions in the fourth, SLU took advantage of multiple miscues by the Pirates defense scoring four runs on one hit and two errors. Kasey Postupack, Casis, Martyn, and Ally Maddox all came around to score during the inning giving the Lions a 9-2 lead over the powerful hitting club from Armstrong Atlantic.
Both offenses remained quiet for the next couple innings, until Armstrong broke through against Lions’ starter Ashley Urbanik in the final inning. During the inning, the Pirates scored four consecutive runs before the Lions recorded an out and six runs overall before Urbanik settled down and closed the inning and game with a pair of strikeouts.
Urbanik threw a complete game for the Lions and for the first six innings completely shut down a great Pirates’ offense. She scattered eight hits on the day while picking up her fourth victory of the season.
The team collected a total of 12 hits, including four players with two hits apiece. Urbanik also helped herself out at the plate going 2-for-3 with two home runs with three RBI, while Casis went 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI. Martyn and Brittany Yates also added their names to the two-hit list.
The Lions now head into single elimination at the Eckerd College Invitational. Their first opponent will be the Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish whom the Lions defeated on Friday night by the score of 11-3. First pitch is slated for 9:00 am at the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater, Fla. The game will also be broadcasted live on the Saint Leo Lions AudioCast Network.