FLORENCE, S.C. – The Saint Leo softball team (14-10) closed out the final day of the Francis Marion Tournament with a convincing 6-2 win over the Newberry College Indians, Sunday morning at Freedom Park.
Newberry put the pressure on the Lions’ defense in the top of the third inning of a scoreless game as they loaded the bases with only one out. But Lions’ ace Ashley Urbanik and the rest of the Lions defense was up to the challenge as they did not allow one Indian to cross the plate.
The defensive effort shifted the momentum over to the offense for Saint Leo as they manufactured a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth. Elysha Agen led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch and advanced to third on a Tatiana Casis double to leftfield. Newberry then decided they would rather face Ashley Urbanik instead of Brittany Yates and the decision to intentionally walk Yates was made. The decision back fired as the first intentional pitch went over the catcher’s glove and to the backstop allowing Agen to score from third and give the Lions the lead. Urbanik then helped her own cause as she reached on an infield single scoring Casis from thirdto give the SLU the 2-0 lead.
The Lions added to their margin in the fifth. Agen led the inning off with a double down the leftfield line, while Tiffinee Harvey followed with a free pass. Casis then stepped to the plate with no outs and launched her fourth home run of the week into a gusty wind over the leftfield fence to give SLU a 5-0 lead.
After holding Newberry scoreless again in the top of the sixth, the Lions added one more insurance run as Ali Lamb delivered a single to right field bringing home Urbanik, who was motoring around third to increase the Lions’ lead to 6-0.
Despite two runs in the top of the seventh, Urbanik eventually settled down and closed the door on the Indians, striking out the final batter of the game.
Casis led all batters with two hits while driving in three runs. Agen also had a good day scoring two runs on top of her double. Urbanik, Dianne Gonzalez, and Lamb also picked up base hits in the win.
Urbanik (7-9) was stellar in the circle for SLU, going all seven innings while not surrendering a run until the seventh inning. The Lions senior hurler scattered four hits while striking out a season high 11 batters.
The Lions now have a break in action before restarting Sunshine State Conference action on Friday, March 13 against Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. First pitch for the SSC clash is scheduled for 3:00 pm and will be broadcast live on the Saint Leo Lions AudioCast Network.