SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo softball team (16-17, 2-7 SSC), fell to the University of Tampa Spartans (24-3, 9-0 SSC) by the scores of 3-0 and 4-1, Saturday afternoon in Sunshine State Conference doubleheader action.
Backed by a pair of strong pitching performances from Tampa aces Kayla Cox and Deanna Henriott, the Lions collected five hits in 14 innings of action.
Four Lions registered hits, including Alex Garris who went 2-for-5 with a pair of singles. Meanwhile Ali Lamb drove in one run for the Lions as she posted an RBI triple, snapping the scoreless inning streak by Tampa pitching at 83.0 innings.
After going pitch-for-pitch with Tampa's Kayla Cox in game one, Lions' hurler Ashley Ehlers faced her first blemish of the game as Tampa broke through for a pair of runs in the fourth inning on two RBI singles from Becky Vyzas and Megan Burke.
That was all Tampa needed as Cox paced the game with 16 strikeouts while allowing only one hit en route to her 10th win of the season. Kayleen Boatwirght added an insurance run for the Spartans in the sixth as her RBI double platted Susan Jallo.
Brittany Yates collected the Lions one hit as she posted her team-leading ninth double of the season.
Ehlers (4-2) was tagged with the loss as she fell for just the second time this season.
Game two saw another pitcher dominated contest as both Megan Still and Tampa hurler Deanna Henriott went through the first five innings not surrendering a run.
Tampa, however, punched home their first run in the fifth inning as Vyzas doubled home Katie Bannon to give the Spartans the 1-0 advantage. Tampa added three more in the sixth inning on three hits to extend the lead to 4-0.
The Lions did not go away quietly as Garris, after opening the seventh inning with a leadoff single, came around to score on a Lamb triple to right field. Still, the flurry could not get the Lions any closer as they fell by the score of 4-1.
Megan still collected the loss as she fell to 6-10. Henriott posted 10 strikeouts while improving to 14-2.
The Lions will return to the field on Wednesday, March 21, when they host Fontbonne in non-region action. First pitch for the doubleheader is set for 5 p.m. from University Softball Stadium.
For the latest news, information, and updates on the softball team, visit SaintLeoLions.com.