SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo softball team, coming off a series-loss to Florida Southern, are set to take on Sunshine State Conference foe Nova Southeastern in their second conference series of the week. The Lions enter the three-game affair with a record of 19-25 overall and 6-9 in the SSC. NSU owns a 37-15 overall mark and 13-5 conference mark. The Lions are in a tie for sixth place in the league, while Sharks have a stranglehold over the second spot.

Series…
The Lions currently own a 21-14 series advantage over NSU. But, have dropped three of their last four to the Sharks, including a 4-1 decision earlier this year at the Eckerd Spring Invitational. The Lions last series win over Nova Southeastern occurred in April of 2008. The Lions swept the Sharks, outscoring them 17-5 over the three game span.

About Saint Leo…
The Lions are coming off a grueling three-game series against the Mocs, where they played in a total of 27 innings, including an 11-inning game last Wednesday. The Lions continue to gain some offensive momentum, and are now batting .261 as a team. Elysha Agen has been the sparkplug at the top of the order, amassing a .369 batting average. She has secured a team-high 51 hits, including 15 doubles and three triples. Tiffinee Harvey collected her seventh home run of the season against the Mocs and now holds a .359 batting average. She is third on the team in RBI with 26 and leads the conference with 18 doubles. Sophomore Brittany Yates is batting .287 this season and leads the team in both home runs (11) and RBI (34) going into the final two weeks of the year. Sarah Boyd is hovering around the .265 mark and currently stands third on the team in home runs (11) and second in RBI (28).

Leading the ways for the Lions in the circle is Ashton Whidden and her 13-11 record. She has posted a 2.19 ERA allowing, 51 earned runs in 162.2 innings. Jaime Walker is 5-8 on the season with a 3.62 ERA. She has allowed just 11 walks in 86.2 innings of work, while striking out 27 batters.

Trends…
The Lions 11-inning win against the Mocs snapped a six-game losing streak. The Lions have scored 167 runs during the 2010 campaign. The squad has done most if its damage in the first inning, having scored 32 runs. The team is also 3-3 in extra-inning contests this season. They have found the way to win the close ballgames going 8-2 in one-run contests. The Lions have only been shutout two times on the season, compared to seven times in 2009.

Records…
Ana Castillo has broken the single-season record for sacrifice hits with 29 this year and currently stands four shy of setting the single-season mark. Currently, only four other players in DII history have reached 29.  Both Agen and Harvey posted doubles in the series with the Mocs. In doing so, each grew closer to the all-time single-season mark of 21. Harvey now stands at 18 and Agen at 15. Also for Harvey, the double against FSC gave her 39 for her career and in a tie for fifth-place all-time with Ally Maddox. Yates broke a 13-game homerless streak, smacking her 11th home run of the year over the leftfield fence. She now stands with 24 career bombs, nine short of tying Ashley Urbanik’s all-time mark of 33.

About Nova…
The Sharks come into the ballgame hitting .321 as a team. They have 432 hits as a team, including 111 for extra-bases. They have compiled 288 runs scored and stolen 89 bases as a team. The Sharks have 10 batters hitting .270 or higher and rank in upper half in the conference in most offensive statistics. Dani Caron leads the way hitting at a .407 clip. Lauren Lopez is the big bat in the lineup hitting .391 with seven home runs. She is second on the team in RBI with 34. Jessica Hernandez has also done damage at the plate amassing a .382 batting average and collecting a team-high 45 RBI. Rachel Talenfeld rounds-out the group of .350 hitters, accumulating a .362 batting average.

In the circle, a quartet of Sharks have helped the team secure each of their 37 wins. Caron is proving she can do it at the plate and in the circle, posting a 15-4 overall mark and a 1.40 ERA. She leads the team with 98 strikeouts and surrendered just 21 walks. Devin Higginbotham has amassed a 9-4 record and a 1.91 ERA. She is third on the team in K’s with 49. Lexi Sarradet is 9-7 on the season with a 2.33 ERA and has 78 strikeouts on the season. Laura Saladrigas has also made six appearances this season and posted a 4-0 record with a 0.90 ERA.