SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo University softball team (26-20, 5-10 SSC) dropped a pair of SSC contests to the University of Tampa Spartans Sunday evening from University Field.
Saint Leo staked an early 1-0 lead in game one, but three unanswered runs gave the Spartans a 3-1 extra-innings game one victory. SLU fell behind early in game two and never recovered, as they fell 7-3 completeing the Tampa sweep.
Despite the outcome, Ali Lamb had an impressive day at the plate going 4-for-7 with a triple and a run scored. Elysha Agen picked up three hits in the doubleheader, including an RBI double, while Tatiana Casis went 2-for-6 with a run scored and three walks. Ally Maddox drove in a pair of runs as she went 1-for-6 from the plate and her teammates and Ashley Urbanik and Tiffinee Harvey each picked up base hits.
The Lions had a positive beginning to the day as they claimed a 1-0 lead in the first inning off a two-out bases loaded walk from Maddox.
Urbanik (15-16) was on top of her game as well, allowing only one hit through the first four innings of play. However, a double combined with a Lions’ fielding miscue, tied the game at one in the top of the fifth inning.
Saint Leo had one more chance to end the game in the bottom of the seventh, but a two on, no out situation for SLU could not garner the Lions any runs.
The game remained tied at one until the top of the ninth when Tampa’s designated hitter connected on a two-run home run to give the Spartans the 3-1 lead. It was only the fifth hit of the ballgame given up by Urbanik.
Saint Leo went down in order in the ninth, giving Tampa a 3-1 win. Urbanik went all nine innings for the Green and Gold, surrendering only five hits while striking out eight batters.
Despite outhitting the Spartans 7-5, the squad couldn’t take advantage of scoring opportunities ultimately leaving 12 runners on base, including base runners in every inning except for the last.
Game two did not start off well for Saint Leo as Tampa plated three runs in the second inning. Tampa then stretched the lead to 7-0 with a two run fourth inning and a pair of runs in the fifth and sixth.
The Lions refused to quit though, collecting a pair of runs in the sixth inning. Urbanik grounded out to bring home the Lions first run and Maddox followed with one of the Lions three hits during the inning platting Harvey from third base.
With the score 7-2 in the seventh, Lamb led off with a triple and was knocked in by an Agen double, cutting the lead to 7-3. However, the next two batters went down swinging to end the Lions chances.
Lions’ starter Kristen Kelly (9-4) threw a complete game, allowing 11 hits and five earned runs while striking out six Spartans.
Saint Leo has now lost eight of their last nine SSC contests.
The Lions won’t see game action again until Friday, April 17 when they travel to Ft. Lauderdale to take on Nova Southeastern in Sunshine State Conference action. First pitch of the three-game series is set for 7:00 pm.