Two walk-offs in extra innings lifts #10 softball to sweep Eckerd

Two walk-offs in extra innings lifts #10 softball to sweep Eckerd

SAINT LEO, Fla. – Two more tightly contests games between No. 10 Saint Leo softball and Eckerd at University Softball Stadium saw the Lions get past the Tritons 4-3 and 5-4 both in extra innings Saturday, sweeping the Sunshine State Conference series between the two teams.

Saint Leo (21-6, 4-2 SSC) sweep the SSC three-game series and moves to 4-0 on the year against Eckerd after winning game one 4-3 in nine innings and 5-4 in eight innings. Stephanie Adkins picked up two more wins on the season moving to 12-2 on the season after having won both games in relief fashion. Adkins came in and pitched 3.0 innings in game one with only one hit while pitching 5.0 innings in game two with seven hits allowed. Alison Mitts got the nod for both games going 6.0 innings in game one with five hits, three runs only one earned while she threw 3.0 innings in game two with seven hits and four runs. Adkins finished the day with six strikeouts moving to 98 on the season and Mitts retired eight batters on the strikeout moving to 42 on the season.

With the two wins Saturday, senior pitcher Stephanie Adkins moves to 30-6 in her two-year career in the Green and Gold. 

The Lions got their offensive charge in the doubleheader from Michelle George and Danielle Bottley. George and Bottley each finished the day off with a .500 batting average as George was 3-for-6 and Bottley 2-for-4. George recorded two RBI in the two games where she hit the game-winning single in game two to lift the Lions to the win. Samantha Ohmie used one of her two hits to lift the Lions past the Tritons in game one in the bottom of the ninth with a solo home run shot to left field, her third walk-off of her career. 

GAME ONE - #10 Saint Leo 4, Eckerd 3 (9 innings)
The Tritons got to work quickly in game one as they scored first in the second inning and held the Lions scoreless through 2.2 innings before the Lions could answer the one run in the third. Sommer Pollard walked with two outs and came around to score on a Kacie Kelly double to left field.

Saint Leo jumped out in front scoring two runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 3-1 lead as Ciera Schumaker started the inning off with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Brittany Creamer. Danielle Bottley singled down the left field line and advanced to second on the throw to the plate where Schumaker scored on a throwing error by the left fielder. Michelle George stepped to the plate and singled to center field scoring Bottley from second, Saint Leo 3-1.

Alison Mitts held the Tritons scoreless until the top of the sixth when they tied the game with two runs on a two-run homer by Nikole Van Gennep to straight away center field.

Stephanie Adkins came in to pitch the final three innings holding the Tritons at bay, only allowing one hit where Van Gennep held the Lions to three hits over the last three innings of play.

In the bottom of the ninth, Samantha Ohmie, who would have a flash back to the first home series on Feb. 25, dug into the box with same 1-1 count and drilled a solo walk-off homer to left field to end the game in the Lions favor.

Both teams only connected for six hits as the Lions saw Kelly, Ohmie, Creamer and Bottley all recorded one as George went 2-for-4 in game one.

GAME TWO - #10 Saint Leo 5, Eckerd 4 (8 innings)
After just 35 minutes off the field, both teams stepped on the field and the Tritons were able to jump on the Lions pitching core. Alison Mitts got the nod for game two as she gave up two runs in the first inning and two in the fourth to put the Lions behind 4-0 before they could push anything across in the bottom of the third inning.

Kacie Kelly hit a one-out single through the left side before scoring on a Samantha Ohmie double to left-center, cutting the lead to 4-1.

Stephanie Adkins rolled out to the mound in the fourth inning and halted the Tritons in their spot allowing just one hit in the fourth before the Lions scored two more runs in the bottom of the inning, making it a one-run contest. Back-to-back walks in the fourth by Sarah Pauscher and Danielle Bottley would come back to haunt the new Eckerd pitcher, Grace Willeck. Michelle George gave herself up to move the runners to second and third, as Rachael Heath singled up the middle scoring both runners.

Both teams would be held in check in the fifth inning before Saint Leo could tie the game with one run in the bottom of the sixth. Adkins worked her way out of trouble in the top of the inning holding it to a 4-3 game before Pauscher started the inning off with a single and advanced to second as the right fielder booted the ball away from her. Bottley laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt moving Pauscher to third and in to score on a fielding error by the shortstop allowed George to reach safely. Both of the next two batters would be retired via the strikeout as the Tritons and Lions headed to the seventh tied 4-4.

Adkins allowed two hits in the seventh but the first single of the inning saw George throw the runner out at second base to Kelly to retire the batter. A double to left field by Van Gennep would prove to be nothing as Adkins got the next batter to foul out to Schumaker at third and the final batter to strikeout looking.

The Lions went in order, 1-2-3 in the seventh before Adkins got back to work in the eighth inning, not allowing any runs to cross the plate.

In the bottom of the eighth, Saint Leo would see George hit a single to score the winning run to end the game in favor of the Lions 5-4. Brittany Creamer singled to right field to start the inning followed by a Bottley single to third. George's bloop single to left field saw both runners take off for the next base as Coach Kinberger sent Creamer around to head for home with one out. Eckerd's Kayelee Newstrom came up throwing for home but as Creamer slid, catcher Dana Paul lost the ball, and the Lions won the game 5-4.

Danielle Bottley would walk in her first two appearances, lay down a sacrifice in her third and a single in the eighth inning to finish game two 1-for-1 from the plate with one run scored.

Rachael Heath and Brittany Creamer would finish game two 2-for-4 from the plate as Kacie Kelly, Samantha Ohmie, Sarah Pauscher and Michelle George all recorded one hit in the final game of the series.

Saint Leo will step out of conference play and welcome in No. 18 Caldwell to the field as they will play two games Tuesday, March 14 at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at University Softball Stadium.

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