#17 Softball sweeps opening day at Flagler

#17 Softball sweeps opening day at Flagler

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – No. 17 Saint Leo softball opened up the season with two wins over Flagler on Feb., 1 where the Lions won with a combined score of 14-2 in 14 innings, winning game one 3-1 and game two 11-1.

On the day, Danielle Bottley and Sara Pauscher went 1-for-1 in their only plate appearance, where Alyssa Wash shined going 4-of-7 for a .571 batting average. Wash finished with one run scored, one home run and two runs batted in (RBI).

Joining Wash in the .500 club after the first two games, Sommer Pollard and Amanda James went 3-for-6 and 2-for-4, respectively on their opening day. James scored two runs in her Green and Gold debut.

On the day, the Lions combined for 18 hits, two doubles, three home runs, 29 total bases and 13 walks. With the two wins, Saint Leo moves to 7-0 against Flagler in three years under head coach Erin Kinberger's direction. 

Stephanie Adkins and Alison Mitts got the nod for the two games, as Adkins went the distance for seven innings allowing one run, earned, and striking out seven.

Mitts went four innings allowing one run, unearned, and striking out one batter. Sara Neuman, who like Mitts, made her season debut in the circle. Neuman came in relief for Mitts and pitched three innings allowing just one hit and no runs. Neuman is credited with the save after three effective innings in the circle. 

GAME ONE - #17 Saint Leo 3, Flagler 1
Saint Leo and Flagler went scoreless through two innings before Alyssa Wash broke the tie with a solo homerun to left field in the top of the third. In the bottom of the third, Wash helped keep the Saints off the board as she fielded a liner hit her cutoff, Brittany Creamer, who found Sommer Pollard standing at home for a perfect throughout to keep it 1-0 Lions. Saint Leo would tack on another in the top of the sixth as Creamer hit a single to center field scoring Ciera Schumaker. Schumaker walked and would advance to second after Amanda James hit a single to give the Lions two on, two outs, Saint Leo 2-0.

Whitney Woodard would homer to right field to put the Saints on the board, cutting the Lions lead to 2-1.

Saint Leo came right back and scored another in the top of the seventh after Wash reached first and was pinch-ran for by Danielle Bottley. Bottley would move to second on a sacrifice bunt by Rachael Heath and came around to score on a Sommer Pollard single to right field, Lions 3-1.

Stephanie Adkins, who moves to 1-0 on the year, pitched all seven innings in the first game and allowed just one run on three hits, one walk, and seven strikeouts.

GAME TWO - #17 Saint Leo 11, Flagler 1
Saint Leo swept the game after a dominating performance in game two. The Lions struck first again in game two as Ciera Schumaker hit a two-run homer to right center scoring Samantha Ohmie in the top of the second inning; Ohmie reached via the walk, Saint Leo 2-0.

The very next inning, the Lions continued their offensive prowess as they used small-ball tactics scoring two runs in the top of the third inning, Saint Leo 4-0. Rachael Heath started things off with a bunt single, followed by a Pollard bunt single advancing Heath to second. Ohmie would walk once again and load the bases for Schumaker. Schumaker walked pushing Heath across the play for the third run before a wild pitch scored Pollard. The Lions would strand two on in the inning. Alison Mitts would work herself out of a jam in the bottom of the third as the Saints had a runner on first and third before a failed bunt allowed the out to be recorded at home, Saint Leo leading 4-0 heading to the top of the fourth.

Saint Leo would score another in the fifth as Bailey McKenna started things off with a single. Heath would single to the shortstop allowing all runners to be safe before Pollard reached first on a fielder's choice, leaving runners on the corner with two outs. Pollard stole second and Kacie Kelly walked to load the bases again for Ohmie. Ohmie walked once again and allowed for McKenna to cross the plate, Lions 5-0 top fifth.

Flagler would score one run in the fourth before Saint Leo used the long ball to score two more in the top of the fifth. Amanda James walked and advanced to second before McKenna hit a two-run dinger to center field extending the lead to 7-1 in the fifth.

The Lions would not stop there adding on four runs in the top of the seventh to go on for the 11-1 win. Sara Pauscher pinch hit for James in the top of the seventh, kicking things off with a double to right center. Bottley pinch hit for Creamer hitting a double of her own scoring Ciara McCoy, who pinch ran for Pauscher. Bottley, Michelle George and Olivia Prieto would count for the final three runs for the Lions as Bottley scored on a Wash single; George on a sacrifice fly from Heath; and Prieto scored after Schumaker walked pushing players around the base.

Alison Mitts finished the night with 4.0 innings pitched with three hits, one run, and three walks while striking out one batter. Sara Neuman came in relief and threw the final three innings allowing just one hit and recorded one strikeout in her 11 batters faced.

Saint Leo will head to Clearwater to take part in the Eckerd tournament on Feb. 4-5 at the Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex for four games against Chadron State (twice), Florida Southern, and host Eckerd.

For more information on the Saint Leo softball program, visit SaintLeoLions.com.  Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Lions news by following Saint Leo Athletics on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.