ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Saint Leo softball team (10-9, 2-1 SSC) scored a combined 16 runs in their Sunshine State Conference, doubleheader sweep of Eckerd College (6-11-1, 1-2 SSC), Wednesday evening from the Turley Athletics Complex. In game one, the Lions claimed a 8-4, eight innings victory, while in game two SLU led wire-to-wire in securing an 8-2 win. The Lions have now won seven of their last eight games.
Individually, the Lions had another fantastic evening at the plate. Elysha Agen led the charge going 6-for-8 on the night, including three doubles, a pair of RBI, and three runs scored. Sarah Boyd and Amber Martyn each posted four hits, as well. Boyd connected on her first career triple, while Martyn delivered a double. Jaime Walker went a combined 3-for-8 from the batter’s box and Dianne Gonzalez and Ana Castillo combined for four hits. Gonzalez popped her second home run of the season and Castillo drove in a game-best four RBI. Brittany Yates made her two hits count as both went for home runs, and capped her night with three RBI. Tiffinee Harvey had her nine-game hitting streak snapped in game one, but still crushed her third home run of the year in game two.
While improving to one game above .500, SLU combined for 26 hits and 16 runs, while amassing nine extra-base hits. The team posted a .388 batting average and did not commit an error in 45 total putouts.
In game one, SLU faced an immediate deficit when Eckerd’s Shurr capped a three-hit inning with a three-run blast to give the Tritons a 3-0 lead. As usual, the Lions found a way to battle back and chip away at the lead. In the second, with both Boyd and Martyn on, Walker sent a shot up the middle to plate the Lions second run and trim the lead to one. The hit was later followed by an Agen RBI single, tying the ballgame up at three.
In the fourth inning, the Lions took their first lead of the contest when Castillo connected on an infield single scoring Boyd from third base. The Lions held the one-run lead into the bottom of the sixth inning when Eckerd’s Alex Sasso scored on a controversial sacrifice fly, tying the game at four.
Neither team could convert a run in the final inning of regulation, but Saint Leo did break it open in the first extra frame. Gonzalez began the inning with a solo shot over the right field fence to swing the lead back in favor of the Green & Gold. Her run stood as the game-winner, as the Lions collected three more runs on behalf of a sacrifice fly, an RBI single by Martyn and a RBI triple by Boyd.
The Lions shutdown the Tritons in the bottom of the inning, leaving two runners stranded and walking away with their first conference win. In victory, Walker tossed 8.0 innings, scattering eight hits and allowing four earned runs. She now stands at 2-2 on the season.
Game two gave the Lions the same result, but a different path in getting there. The Lions did not wait to fall behind, as Harvey brought Agen home with an RBI single. Harvey came around to score on Yates’ 19th career home run to give the Lions 3-0 first inning lead.
The Lions added to their lead in the second Castillo roped a two-RBI single up the middle to plate runs four and five.
Eckerd answered with a pair of runs themselves in the bottom of the third inning using three hits, including an RBI single, to make the score 5-2 in favor of SLU.
Harvey gave the Lions one of those runs back in the top of the fourth when she sent a towering shot over the right field fence.
The squad iced the game with an RBI double by Agen in the fifth and Yates’ second blast of the contest in the sixth inning. It is the third multiple home run game of her career and the second of the season.
Ashton Whidden improved to 7-3 on the season, scattering nine hits and allowing just two earned runs over 7.0 innings of work. She struck out four batters and allowed only three walks.
The Lions return to SSC action this Friday, February 5 against Lynn University. The first of the three games is set for a 7:00 pm at University Field on the campus of Saint Leo.