CLEARWATER, Fla. – The Saint Leo University softball team (7-7) fell to the Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish (13-6), 5-4 Sunday morning from the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater, Fla. in an elimination game as part of the Eckerd College Invitational.
After finishing the tournament 2-2, the Lions received the fifth seed, in which they drew fourth seed PBA.
The Lions came out hitting, collecting a pair of singles by Amber Martyn and Tatiana Casis but unfortunately for Lions’ fans they were stranded at first and second.
Lions starter Ashley Urbanik came out firing for Saint Leo, collecting four strike outs in the first two innings.SLU missed out on another prime scoring chance in the third as Tiffinee Harvey doubled to centerfield with one out, but was stranded in scoring position.
PBA broke through against Urbanik in the third, scoring two runs on only one hit. But that didn’t discourage the offensive minded Lions, as they rallied in the fourth inning to score four runs on five hits. Urbanik helped her own cause by leading off the inning with her fifth blast of the season. With the lead 2-1 in favor of PBA, the Lions continued to put the pressure on Sailfish ace Ashley Jones. Stephanie Discepolo reached on a sharp infield single to third base which was followed by Katrina Muchmore walk. Dianna Gonzalez kept the rally going as her infield single, coupled with aggressive base running by flex player Kasey Postupack, allowed the Lions to tie the game at two. Harvey and Martyn then connected on back-to-back RBI singles to push the lead to 4-2.
Urbanik surrendered her one earned run on the day in the fifth inning when the PBA leadoff hitter connected on a solo home run.
PBA continued the comeback rally in the sixth as a fielding error opened the door for the Sailfish. Eventually, Palm Beach loaded the bases with one out when a bunt single in between the third baseman and shortstop allowed one run to score and tie the game at four. Saint Leo lost total grip of the lead a couple batters later when a sacrifice fly brought home the eventual game-winning run.
The Lions couldn’t answer the call in the seventh, as they fell for the third time in the past five games.
Urbanik (4-6) was the tough luck loser surrendering only three hits and striking out eight batters. She did help herself out at the plate though going 1-for-3 with a home run. Harvey and Martyn each collected two hits and an RBI in the losing effort. Casis added her team leading 17th hit in the first inning.
The Lions now turn their attention to home conference action and Rollins College. The single game is slated for Friday, February 27 at 7:00 pm.