MELBOURNE, Fla. – A perfect weekend and a sweep of No. 4 Armstrong State is exactly what No. 16 Saint Leo softball aimed for. The Lions completed the sweep Sunday afternoon with a two-run blast from Samantha Ohmie in the bottom of the eighth ending the game, and weekend, with a perfect 4-0 record from the Florida Tech and Marriott Brawl at the Beach in Melbourne.
Saint Leo (12-3) won both games Sunday with a 7-3 morning win over Stonehill and a 7-5 afternoon victory vs No. 4 Armstrong State, which took an extra inning to complete.
Three pitchers saw action for the Lions on the day as Sara Neuman and Alison Mitts got the starts in the two games. Neuman pitched game one and picked up her third win of the year as Mitts pitched game two and exited the game in the top of the fourth inning. Stephanie Adkins came in for a relief appearance in the fourth inning against the Pirates and earned the win as the Lions walked off in the eighth inning.
As a team, the Lions hit .259 (14-54) in the two games and scored 14 runs to opponents eight. Sarah Pauscher finished with a 2-for-3 day at the plate with two runs scored, two RBI and one double. Kacie Kelly connected on two hits out of her four at bats. Kelly scored two runs and tallied two RBI as well. Ohmie, the unsung hero in the final game against Armstrong State, went 3-for-8 on the day with two runs scored, one double, one home run and two RBI.
GAME ONE - #16 Saint Leo 7, Stonehill 3 Saint Leo opened up the final day of the Marriott Brawl at the Beach with a win over Stonehill. Sara Neuman got the nod and picked up her third win of the year after pitching 5.1 innings. Neuman gave up five hits and three runs with two strikeouts.
Saint Leo started off Sunday early with two runs in the first after Creamer came to the plate and reached on a fielder's choice. A throwing error by the Skyhawks catcher allowed Kelly and Pollard both to score on the play.
The Lions added one in the top of the third and Kelly hit a single up the middle scoring Pollard, before both teams were scoreless until the sixth inning.
Saint Leo added three more on in the top half of the inning to lead 6-0 before the Skyhawks scored three in the bottom half of the inning. The Lions saw a McKenna score on a double steal, Pauscher score on a Bottley single up the middle and Bottley score on a Kelly single through the left side.
Stonehill picked up their three runs after Taylor Lester hit a two-run double and came in to score the third as Lianna Jordan hit a sacrifice fly to left field.
The Lions tacked another on in the seventh as Prieto scored on a Pauscher single.
Alison Mitts came in to pitch the final 1.2 innings and closed the door with three up, three down in the bottom of the seventh to end the game. Mitts finished with one walk and one strikeout in her relief appearance.
GAME TWO - #16 Saint Leo 7, #4 Armstrong State 5 (8 innings) Saint Leo wrapped up play at the Marriott Brawl defeating the fourth-ranked Armstrong State Pirates after Samantha Ohmie hit a two-run home run to end the game in the bottom of the eighth. With the international tiebreaker rule in effect, Bailey McKenna was placed on second base to start the inning. McKenna advanced to third on a passed ball before Ohmie drove her in.
Alison Mitts got the start in the circle and received a no decision after she left the game in the top of the fourth leaving the ball in Stephanie Adkins' hand. Adkins came in and picked up her sixth win of the year on 4.2 innings of work with three hits, one run, three walks and five strikeouts in 20 batters faced.
Both teams would push runs across in the first two innings, with the difference maker in favor of Saint Leo in the bottom of the second inning. Armstrong State scored in the top of the first, where Saint Leo answered in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game. The Pirates scored once again in the top of the second to take a 2-1 lead before the Lions scored three to take a 4-2 lead.
Back-to-back doubles by Ohmie and Pauscher led off the second inning tying the game within the first two batters, but the Lions wouldn't stop there. Pauscher stole third to put herself 45-feet away with one out before an error by the Pirates second baseman allowed Alyssa Wash to reach base safely and Pauscher to score. Wash came around to score on an error by the first baseman to put the Lions ahead 4-2.
Armstrong State started the fourth inning off with a triple before a hit by pitch put two runners on with one out. The Lions pulled Mitts and put in Adkins to try to close the inning. Adkins started off strong with a strikeout before giving up a three-run homer to left field putting the Pirates in the lead. Two scoreless frames saw the Lions head to the bottom of the seventh with their 2-3-4 hitters due up.
Before Ohmie could be the Lions hero, three passed balls in the bottom of the seventh tied the game 5-5 to force extra innings. Sommer Pollard walked to put a runner on with no outs. Pollard advanced to second on a passed ball and again advanced to third on another passed ball. Kacie Kelly walked to put runners on the corners with no outs before Ciera Schumaker lined into a double-play, leaving Pollard at third with two outs. A Pirates passed ball allowed Pollard to tie the game.
Things got interesting in the top of the extra inning as, with the international tiebreaker rule, a runner was placed on second. Adkins walked the first batter she saw before recording a strikeout. Adkins again walked the next batter before a grounder came right to her for a force at home, keeping the game at 5-5 with two outs, bases loaded. A fly ball to right field landed in the glove of Bailey McKenna to retire the side and allow the Lions the chance to walk off.
McKenna was placed on second before Ohmie took one deep to left field to end the game.
UP NEXT Saint Leo heads home for the home opener at University Softball Field when the Lions host Embry-Riddle for a three-game series starting Friday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. before a doubleheader Saturday, Feb. 25 at 12 and 2 p.m.
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 Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.