SAINT LEO, Fla. - The Lions’ (10-9) offense absolutely exploded Wednesday evening, as the team combined for 42 runs in a sweep of Salem international at University Field. In game one, the Lions popped out 14 runs in five innings while pounding out 18 hits en route to a 14-3 victory. But the fireworks really started in game two as the squad put together a 19-run first inning on their way to a record setting 28 runs.
SLU combined for 43 hits on the evening, including a 7-for-7 performace by Tatiana Casis in which she connected on three home runs, including two grand slams and 13 RBI. Ali Lamb also had a tremendous night at the plate four hits in five at-bats. The duo of Ally Maddox and Dianne Gonzalez combined to get 11 hits, while Maddox drove in three runs. Brittany Yates went 4-for-6, including a home run and five RBI. Amber Martyn drove in five runs, as well, as she went 4-for-7 from the plate. Ashley Urbanik and Tiffinee Harvey made their at-bats count com as they each connected on two hits and drove in a pair of runs. Elysha Agen picked up three hits in seven opportunities at the plate while her teammate Katrina Muchmore followed right behind going 3-for-8 with a pair of doubles. Kasey Postupack helped drive in a pair of runs as she went 1-for-3 and Stephanie Discepolo put the finishing touches on the night, driving one of her two hits over the centerfield fence.
Saint Leo started out game one red hot and it continued for the remainder of the next two games. The Lions immediately jumped all the Fighting Tigers, scoring five runs on six hits. Casis drove Agen home from second on an RBI single. The at-bat was followed by three consecutive RBI hits and capped off by Martyn’s single up the middle.
The Lions continued to hit solid base hits in the second and third innings as they scored four runs to increase the lead to 9-0, with all of the hits in the innings coming via the single.
The SLU offense started cooking again in the fourth inning, as they registerd their second five-run inning of the ball game. With runners on second and third, Casis doubled down the leftfield line to give the Lions an 11-0 lead. The double was followed by RBI singles by Discepolo, Yates, and Postupack was hit by a pitch to bring home the final run of the game for the Lions.
Urbanik (5-8) recorded her fifth victory of the 2009 campaign, as she threw three innings of perfect ball before surrendering action to Ashton Whidden who closed the door for SLU throwing the final two innings.
Just when you thought the Lions offense could get any more productive, game two saw the Lions break out with a 28 run effort and an 19-run first inning.
Casis got the Lions rolling early, as the Lions batted around nearly three full times. She put the Lions on the board first connecting on one of her record setting three first inning home runs. The at-bat was followed by another two-run blast, this one courtesy of Yates. The Lions once again loaded the bases in the inning and Martyn cleared half of them with a double to left centerfield. After Agen was retired as the first out of the inning, Harvey drew a walk to load the bases for Casis. Casis picked up where she left off earlier in the inning and planted her second home run of the inning deep over the left field fence, this time it was in grand slam fashion. Miscues once again loaded the bases for SLU and Martyn capitliaozed on the opportunity with her second RBI base hit of the inning. A single and one base on balls later, Casis stepped to the plate for the third time, once again with the bases loaded. She quickly unloaded them as she put her third home run of the inning and second grand slam of the inning deep into the Saint Leo night to give the Lions 19 runs in the first inning. The Lions pounded out 10 hits and four home runs along the way.
The second inning saw the Lions put up another crooked number on the scoreboard as they plated another three runs. Martyn started the scoring off once again for the Green and Gold driving past the third baseman to score Gonzalez from third. Agen then followed with an RBI ground out scoring Muchmore from third. Postupack capped the inning with a single through the left side to give the Lions a 22-0 lead.
Maddox led off the third inning with a solo shot to centerfield and Lamb closed the third with an RBI single up the middle scoring Yates.
With the score 24-0 heading into the fourth, the SLU offense continued to click as they scored four more runs in what turned out the be their final at-bats of the night. Discepolo drilled a one out home run over the centerfield fence. With the bases loaded, both Muchmore and Lamb connected on RBI singles to plate two more runs. Agen singled home the final run of the ball game with line drive up the middle scoring Gonzalez from third.
Kristen Kelly and Whidden combined to pitch five-inning complete game shutout, with Whidden picking up the victory, as she went three innings of no-hit ball.Whidden improved to 2-0 on the season.
As a team, the Lions tied five NCAA records including 19 first inning runs, just one behind the all-time record of 20. Their 25 hits ranks them tied for eighth all-time, while their six home runs in one game puts them tied for third all-time. SLU also stands alone in fourth place with 28 runs batted in. Saint Leo rounded out their recording setting day, totaling 45 total bases, which now stands for third all-time.
Casis on the other hand, set multiple Saint Leo and NCAA records with her three at-bats in the first inning as she tied Staci Albright’s 1995 record of two grand slams in an inning. Casis and Albright are now the only two players in NCAA history to achieve that mark. Her three home runs in one game also ties her for second all-time with a handful of past players. Her three home runs in one inning will go down as a Saint Leo record and will certainly enter the NCAA record books in the near future. While her 10 first inning RBI’s will go down tied with three other players for second all-time. The mark will also put her in class of her own as her 10 RBI’s in one inning will go down as an all-time mark, surpassing the old record of eight set in 1995.
The Lions now take their offensive show to the road and will put their might to the test on Friday, March 6 as they take on No. 4-ranked Francis Marion in the opening game for of the Francis Marion Tournament. First pitch of the game is scheduled for 3:00 pm and will be broadcast live on the Saint Leo Lions AudioCast Network.