LAKELAND, Fla. – The Saint Leo University softball team (26-15, 5-5 SSC) dropped a 12-4 slugfest to the Florida Southern College Moccasins (29-10, 7-3 SSC) Tuesday evening from Barnett Field.
Unfortunately, a two-out, three-run Moccasins rally in the fourth inning took the lead away from SLU permanently, while handing the Lions their third SSC loss in their last four games.
Hopes were high for the Lions as they entered the three game series off the dramatic win over Barry. However, the Moccasins quickly demonstrated their ability to score, putting two runs on the board in the bottom of the first inning off Lions’ starter Ashley Urbanik.
The Lions wasted no time in answering the Mocs’ challenge by putting two runs up on their board themselves in the top of the second. After Urbanik started the inning off with a single, Dianne Gonzalez advanced her to third on a single up the middle. Ali Lamb then cleared the bases with a two-RBI double to right centerfield tying the game at two apiece. Lamb could not advance home though, as the next two Saint Leo batters recorded outs.
Missed opportunities continued to plague the Lions as they left five runners in scoring position through the first four innings of play.
The Mocs regained the lead in the bottom of the second inning, as a pair of hits plated Florida Southern’s third run.
The score remained in the Mocs favor until the top of the fourth inning when Amber Martyn hit a two out double to left field to put runners at second and third. A sacrifice fly by Elysha Agen tied the game and a Tiffinee Harvey double gave the Green and Gold their first lead of the ballgame, 4-3.
It appeared the Lions were cruising towards a quick bottom of the inning, recording the first two outs. However, a walk and three hits suddenly put the Lions on their heels, as three runs crossed the plate to give Florida Southern a 6-4 advantage.
The Lions couldn’t rebound from the two-out rally, as SLU went the next two innings only collecting one hit. Florida Southern on the other hand used the momentum to score six runs over the same time span, including a five-run fifth inning.
Both teams combine for 22 hits, while leaving a combined 16 runners on base. The Lions also hurt their cause by committing four errors in the field.
The Lions were able to get to Mocs’ starter Christine Clark, tagging her for eight hits and four earned runs over three and two-thirds innings pitched.
On the Lions side, Urbanik (15-13) went the distancefor SLU, pitching all five and two-thirds innings, allowing 13 hits and 12 total runs.
The Lions get another crack at the Mocs on Wednesday, April 1 in Sunshine State Conference doubleheader action from Barnett Field in Lakeland, Fla. First pitch is set for 6:00 pm and can be heard live on the Saint Leo Lions AudioCast Network.