No. 22 Lions Claim First Ever Sunshine State Conference Title!
LAKELAND, Fla. – Less than 24 hours after an 11-inning battle against the Florida Southern Moccasins, the Saint Leo softball team swept aside the Sunshine State Conference rival Mocs in Friday afternoon doubleheader action by scores of 3-2 and 4-2. The wins propelled the Lions to their first ever conference title since the inception of the Sunshine State Conference softball championship in 1981. The second win of the day also marked the second time in Saint Leo's history that a team has reached 40 wins.
Senior RHP Megan Still took the mound for the Lions in the first game of the afternoon, and sophomore RHP Ashley Ehlers and junior LHP Sarah Steiner both saw relief appearances. The trio allowed just eight hits and two walks in the full seven innings of work.
Unlike the first game of the series, the Lions completed game one in the regularly scheduled seven innings and defeated the Mocs by a 3-2 score.
The Lions were the first to jump on the board, collecting one run in the top of the first inning when junior Chelsea Steedley scored on an error.
After the Mocs scored one run in the bottom of the second to tie the score at 1-1, the Florida Southern Moccasins took their only lead of the day by tacking on another run in the bottom of the third to go up, 2-1.
Freshman RHP Alana Tabel started in the circle for Saint Leo in the second game of the afternoon, tossing four and two-thirds innings before Steiner took the mound in relief and Megan Still collected the save. The trio allowed seven hits and two walks in the effort, while striking out five.
The first run of the game came early in the contest, when junior Kylee Hardesty connected on a 0-1 pitch to send a rocket over the left-field fence and start off the top of the second inning. With the Mocs unable to score until the seventh, the Lions collected three more runs in the top of the seventh to widen the lead. Both Burns and Gremo collected RBI's in the last inning.
On the day, the Lions collected 14 hits, eight walks, and one stolen base.
Despite the end of the regular season, the Lions await the opportunity to play in the NCAA post-season regional tournament. Saint Leo will find out their playoff future in the days to come.
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