PENSACOLA, Fla. – The Saint Leo softball team (2-2) opened action at the SSC/GSC Crossover Tournament with a doubleheader split with the University of North Alabama (1-1), Saturday afternoon from the UWF Softball Complex. The Lions dropped the first game of two non-conference games, 3-1, before upending the opposing Lions 6-4, in game two.
Leading the Lions’ offense on the day was senior centerfielder Tiffinee Harvey. Harvey went 5-for-6 from the plate, hitting her first two home runs of the 2010 campaign while adding her third and forth doubles of the year. She also totaled four RBI and scored three runs. Brittany Yates broke through with her first hits of the season in game two of the doubleheader, going 3-for-7 with a double and a run scored. Amber Martyn, Elysha Agen, and Danielle Moreda each added singles, while Moreda and Sarah Boyd added RBI.
In game one, both Saint Leo and North Alabama demonstrated their long ball power. After Lauren Watts struck with a home run in the top half of the inning, Harvey began her power display with a home run to centerfield, knotting the game up at one.
Unfortunately, the Lions offense couldn’t amass enough runs to stay with their Lion counterparts. UNA capitalized on a sacrifice fly in the third to score their second run and added an insurance run in the top of the fourth inning on an RBI single.
Saint Leo had an opportunity in the sixth inning to even the game up as Harvey started a two out rally. Unfortunately, Harvey and Yates were stranded in scoring position, as Jennifer Sexton struck out one of her nine victims.
Kristen Kelly received the loss in the game one and now stands at 0-2 on the year. She surrendered six hits, three earned runs, and allowed five walks in her second complete game outing.
Game two belonged to Harvey, as her 2-for-3 effort in game one was trumped by a 3-for-3 outing on the backend of the doubleheader.
Saint Leo wasted no time getting on the board, as Harvey brought home Agen on an RBI double to give SLU an early 1-0 lead. It was matched in the first inning by UNA as Lauren Watts scored on a throwing error.
Although the second inning was scoreless, the Lions exploded for three runs in the third. After Harvey doubled home Agen for the second time in the game, Yates followed it up with her first extra-base hit of the year, scoring Harvey. After Katie Gwinn was hit by a pitch, Moreda stepped to the plate and delivered a two-out, RBI single through the left side to score Yates from second giving SLU a 4-1 advantage.
The lead was cut to one in the bottom of the inning on a two-run single. After a scoreless Saint Leo fourth, North Alabama tied the contest at four as they took advantage of a wild pitch.
SLU did not quit though, as they responded with a run in the top of the fifth on Harvey’s second home run of the day, a blast down the right field line.
Now with a 5-4 lead, SLU used the sixth inning to add an insurance run when Boyd forced a bases loaded walk to bring in the Lions sixth run.
Ashton Whidden made the lead stand, as she threw the first 7.0 inning complete game of her career. Whidden surrendered three earned runs and struck out two batters while improving to 2-0 on the season.
The Lions will continue play at the SSC/GSC Crossover Tournament tomorrow morning. The squad will take on West Florida at 10 a.m. before finishing up their four-game Pensacola swing against Palm Beach Atlantic. Both games will be broadcast on the Saint Leo Lions Audiocast Network.