SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo softball team (19-32, 4-17 SSC) closed-out their 2012 regular season road schedule with a split of the Eckerd College Tritons (12-40, 4-17 SSC) in Sunshine State Conference doubleheader action, Wednesday afternoon from the Turley Athletic Complex on the campus of Eckerd College. The Lions dropped the opener, 5-3, before taking the series in the nightcap, 8-1.
A three-run fifth inning highlighted the Tritons come-from-behind win in the opener, while the Lions' bats came alive for eight runs in game two.
Saint Leo registered 11 hits on the evening, including a team-best three base knocks from Brittany Yates. Emily Holman was only other Lion to collect multiple hits as she went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and the first double of her collegiate career. Dianne Gonzalez scored twice and added to her home run total with a game one blast.
A scoreless contest over the first three frames, the Lions' Moreda stroked a two-out RBI single down the right field line scoring Kafalas from second base to put Saint Leo up. In the fifth inning, Rachelle Gremo roped an RBI double through the left centerfield gap, scoring Yates from second base and increasing the Lions' lead to 2-0.
Eckerd stormed back in the bottom of the fifth inning however, as they scored three runs behind a pair of Saint Leo fielding miscues.
Saint Leo's Gonzalez refused to the let the team go down quietly as she answered with a solo blast in the sixth inning to tie the game at three runs apiece. However, it was a Kristen Shurr two-RBI double in the sixth inning that sealed the game for the Tritons as they took home a 5-3 victory.
Still, dropping to 8-19 on the season, allowed only two earned runs over the course of 5.2 innings.
In total, the Lions left eight runners on base throughout the course of the opening game, including two in scoring position.
Eckerd continued the momentum to the first inning of game two as the Tritons jumped up 1-0 on Lions' starter Ashley Ehlers. Still, the Lions' pushed to tie the game in the top of the second as Emily Holman scored on a pass ball.
With both pitchers matching zeros over the next three innings, the Lions' Kaitlynn Diaz proved to be clutch as she poked a two-RBI single into shallow right-center field scoring Kafalas and Alex Garris. A five-run seventh inning highlighted the nightcap win for Saint Leo as four different Lions registered hits. Yates singled through the right side to score Rachelle Gremo to begin the scoring, while a two-out, two-RBI double by Holman, in addition to a bunt RBI single by Ali Lamb solidified the win.
It was all Ehlers needed as she controlled Tritons' batters for all seven innings. She didn't surrender an earned run and struck out five en route to her fifth win of the season.
The Lions will return to the field on Sunday, April 29, when they host SSC opponent Lynn University in the team's final series of the 2012 regular season. First pitch for the doubleheader is set for noon from University Softball Stadium. It also marks the final regular season series for six Saint Leo seniors as Dianne Gonzalez, Brittany Yates, Danielle Moreda, Ashlee Sismilich, Kristen Kelly, and Ali Lamb compete in their final series for the Lions.
For more on the softball team, visit SaintLeoLions.com.