Lions Fall in First Round of NCAA South Region Tournament

VALDOSTA, Ga. – After what began as a grueling pitcher's duel, the Saint Leo softball team (40-15) fell to the University of Tampa Spartans in the first game of the NCAA South Region tournament by an 8-0 run-rule in six innings. The loss automatically sent the Saint Leo softball team to the losers' bracket of the double-elimination tournament.

Freshman Alana Tabel took the mound in the contest, tossing 5.1 innings before senior pitcher Megan Still came in for relief. The pair gave up nine hits and just two walks in the effort. 

With no action coming in the first two innings, the Spartans were the first to jump on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third. After a quick single from Tampa's Brie Walton, an error on a bunt allowed Walton to score and give the Spartans a 1-0 lead.

The Lions bounced back, however, threatening in multiple innings and allowing no more runs until the sixth. 

Despite the Lions' efforts, the Spartans' bats broke loose in the bottom of the sixth inning, and Tampa was able to score seven runs on five hits, one walk, and one Saint Leo error. The defining hit of the game was a grand-slam walk-off from the Spartans' first baseman, Meagan Burke, which scored the final four runs of the game. 

The 8-0 loss is the first run-rule that the Lions have suffered during the 2013 season.

Saint Leo will play the loser of the Albany State/Valdosta State contest that takes place this evening. Regardless of the opponent, the Lions will play tomorrow afternoon at 12 p.m.

For a complete NCAA South Region bracket, click here.

For more information on the Lions softball program, be sure to visit SaintLeoLions.com. Also, be sure to 'Like' the Lions on Facebook and 'Follow' the Lions on Twitter and Instagram.