TAMPA, Fla. – Elysha Agen pounded-out four hits, but the Saint Leo University softball team (18-22, 5-7 SSC) dropped a pair of Sunshine State Conference games to the University of Tampa Spartans (17-10, 8-3 SSC), Thursday evening from the Tampa Softball Complex. SLU was defeated 5-2 in game one, before the Spartans used a come-from-behind victory to complete the sweep,5-4.
In total, the Lions collected 11 hits. Aside from Agen’s four knocks, Jessica Figueredo and Brittany Yates registered two hits apiece. Ana Castillo, Dianne Gonzalez and Danielle Moreda rounded-out the Lions’ offensive attack as each collected a hit. Jaime Walker also posted one run scored and Sarah Boyd walked three times and drove in a run in the doubleheader. The Lions had their opportunities to score, however, as they left 16 combined runners on base.
Game one saw the Spartans tally the first run of the contest in the bottom of the second inning on back-to-back doubles.
SLU answered with a tying run in the third inning as a bases-loaded walk by Boyd scored Agen from third. Unfortunately, the Lions were not able to convert the other runners into scores.
In the third inning, a pair of Lions’ fielding miscues led to Tampa’s Brittany Datillo tripling-in three runs to take a 4-1 advantage. The hit eventually propelled the Spartans to the game one win.
Still, the Lions fought and a late triple by Agen, coupled with an RBI-knock by Yates, got the Lions one run closer. However, the team could not overcome the four-run, seventh inning deficit.
Taking the tough loss for the Lions was Walker as she dropped to 5-7 during 2010. She allowed only six hits and two earned runs over 6.0 innings of work.
Tampa took control of the scoreboard in game two as they registered a run on two hits in the first. The team followed it up with another run in the second inning as Datillo connected on an RBI double.
After an injury delay, the Lions took advantage of a cold Kari Walsh as they began to find gaps in the Spartans defense.
After Castillo walked, Yates doubled her over to third. Gonzalez then made her one hit count as she ripped a two-RBI single up the middle to plate both runners. With the game tied, the Spartans heated the bats up again in the sixth inning, plating the go-ahead run on a quartet of hits.
Still, the Green & Gold did not hesitate as they battled back in the final frame to take the lead on three hits. First, Moreda sent an RBI double to left center to score Walker from first to tie the game. After a infield single from Figueredo, Agen sent a blistering single down the leftfield to score Moreda and gain their first lead of the series going into the bottom half of the seventh.
The Lions rode the momentum of their first lead into the frame, but it was short-lived as Becky Vyzas, who earlier tripled, scored on a fielding error. It was followed by an RBI single up the middle by Tejas in which the game-winning run narrowly crossed the plate, escaping the tag from Yates. SLU has now lost seven consecutive games to Tampa.
Ashton Whidden fell to 12-10 as she was hit with the loss. Still, the Lions’ hurler threw well, tossing 6.2 innings and allowing just two earned runs.
The Lions will return to action on Tuesday, April 13 as they open an SSC series with rival Florida Southern. First pitch for the single game is set for 7:00 p.m.