SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo University softball team (21-12) suffered their first setbacks in nearly two weeks, as they dropped back-to-back games to the No.2-ranked Alabama Huntsville Chargers (20-0) during the first day of the Saint Leo Regional Crossover from University Field, Friday evening.
In game one, the Lions staked to an early 3-0 lead, but a five-run sixth by the Chargers gave UAH the 5-3 win. The heartbreaking game one loss seemed to deflate SLU in game two as Alabama Huntsville took charge from the beginning, racing to a 6-0 win.
As a team, the Lions collected six hits on the day, two of which were by freshman second baseman Ali Lamb. Brittany Yates went 1-for-6 from the plate with her one hit being a solo home run in game one. Tiffinee Harvey delivered a double as she went 1-for-4 from the plate while hear teammate, Dianne Gonzalez, collected a single and scored two runs. Shortstop Elysha Agen went also went 1-for-6 from the lead-off spot.
As game one began, it was clear the Lions were not going to back down from the second-ranked Chargers who came into the doubleheader undefeated on the season. After two innings of scoreless ball, SLU provided the first blow of the game as Agen singled in Gonzalez from second to make the score 1-0. Yates made the score 2-0 as she connected on her 11th home run of the season.
Lamb then drove in the Lions third run of the ballgame in the bottom of the fifth inning sending a double to the left center gap scoring Gonzalez from second.
Just when it seemed SLU was heading towards an upset of the Chargers, UAH struck back with a eventual game-winning five run sixth inning. After one run scored as result of a throwing error, Beth Lawson delivered a game changing grand slam home run to give the Chargers the lead.
With the score 5-3, SLU couldn’t muster a rally as the final six Lions’ batters went down in order.
Ashley Urbanik received the loss for the game despite striking out 11 Chargers. The Lions hurler drops to 12-10 on the year.
Game two just did not go the Lions way, as UAH compiled 10 hits compared to the Lions two. Both teams once again traded zeros the first two innings, until Huntsville broke through with a four spot in the top of the third inning.
The Lions tried to mount a response but SLU could only scrape together two hits over the final four innings, with their best opportunities to score coming in the third and fifth innings when the squad had runners at second base.
A two-run Huntsville home run in the top of the seventh secured the win for UAH. The loss snaps the Lions 11 game winning streak and dropped Lions starter Kristen Kelly to 7-2 on the season
The Lions return to the field for more Crossover action on Saturday, March 21 as they take on the University of North Alabama at 4:00 pm from University Field.