SAINT LEO, Fla. – On a chilly morning at University Softball Stadium, the No. 10 Saint Leo Lions swept both ends of the doubleheader from the visiting No. 18 Caldwell Cougars. The Lions won game one 5-0 before turning around and taking the afternoon game 12-3 in five innings.
Saint Leo improved to 23-6 on the year after the two non-conference wins Tuesday. The Lions saw Alison Mitts and Sara Neuman pick up their fifth wins on the year as Mitts won game one with a seven-inning complete game performance. Neuman started game two and pitched 4.1 innings before turning it over to Mitts to complete the fifth inning.
Mitts gave up no runs on the day to finish the afternoon with a 0.00 ERA with 7.2 innings of work where she tallied six strikeouts. Neuman allowed two hits and three runs, one earned, to wrap up her afternoon on the mound for the Lions. Neuman notched three strikeouts in 4.1 innings of work while she held opponents to just a .125 batting average.
As a team, the Lions connected for 15 hits, five doubles, and two homers, on the day ending with a .341 average. Samantha Ohmie hit her fifth home run of the year, fourth in walk-off fashion, as Ciera Schumaker hit her second home run of the year.
Rachael Heath led the team with a .750 batting average going 3-for-4 from the dish while she scored two runs. Heath, who slid one spot down in the lineup, drew one walk and was hit by a pitch to obtain a .833 on-base percentage for the two games.
Kacie Kelly, who got bumped to the leadoff spot, went 4-for-6 with a .667 batting clip with four runs scored, one double and one RBI on the day. Samantha Ohmie was third on the team in batting average with a .600 but led the team with a 1.400 slugging percentage. Ohmie went 3-for-5 from the plate with three runs scored, one double and one home run while driving in four runs. Michelle George joined the trio in a .500 or better average for the day as she went 3-for-6 at the plate with two doubles and four RBI.
GAME ONE – #10 Saint Leo 5, #18 Caldwell 0 Saint Leo got on the board early and often as the Lions used two runs in the first and two in the second, before scoring the fifth and final run in the third to jump on the Cougars early in the morning. Alison Mitts picked up her fifth win after going the distance on the mound.
Kacie Kelly started the day off with a walk for the Lions in the first inning before Rachael Heath laid down the sacrifice bunt to move Kelly into scoring position. Ciera Schumaker stepped to the plate with one on and one out and hit her second home run of the year for a two-run homer to straightaway center field.
The Lions came right back in the bottom of the second and picked up where they left off as Sarah Pauscher walked to start it off. A fielding error by the Cougar defense and a sacrifice bunt by Sommer Pollard pushed Pauscher over to third before Kelly's single through the left side. Schumaker stepped up and grounded out to the pitcher but allowed Michelle George to come around and score.
Saint Leo added one more in the bottom of the third as Danielle Bottley reached on an error and came around on a George bloop single to center field.
Mitts stepped in the circle in the top of the fourth and held the Cougars to no runs to go on for the win. Caldwell connected on six hits in the last four innings but failed to come around and score as their closest runner would get to second.
GAME TWO - #10 Saint Leo 12, #18 Caldwell 3 The Lions came out in the bottom of the first inning in game two and got to the Cougars pitcher early. Sara Neuman got the start in game two and started off the game with a line out, ground out and a strikeout in the top of the first to allow the lines bats to get hot in a hurry.
Saint Leo saw Kacie Kelly, Ciera Schumaker, Brittany Creamer and Samantha Ohmie score in the bottom of the first as Kelly started things off with a double to left center. Kelly would come in to score on a throw down to second as Schumaker, who reached via the walk, stole second. Ohmie hit an RBI single to left field before her and Creamer came in on a Michelle George double to left center.
Another quick inning by Neuman in the second allow the Lions to get back in the box, looking to do more damage. Saint Leo left two runners on in the second but couldn't get a runner across.
The Cougars would get two runs back in the top of the third inning cutting the Lions lead in half. Saint Leo pushed that lead back to three after getting one run in the third inning before tacking on three more in the bottom of the fourth. A single, one double and two walks in the bottom of the fourth forced the Cougars to change pitchers. Kelly, Schumaker and Heath all came across in the inning for the Lions.
Neuman started the fifth inning off with a fly out to center, but would soon load the bases for the Cougars with a walk, a single and another walk. A fielding error would allow one run to score before the Lions went to the bullpen to bring in Alison Mitts. Mitts came in the contest with one out and runners on second and third before an inning-ending double play started at shortstop. A liner to Brittany Creamer started it off as she flicked it to Kacie Kelly covering second to tag the runner to end the fifth inning.
The Lions came up to bat in the bottom of the fifth looking to extend their lead as they got a one-out baserunner in Amanda James. Kelly singled up the middle before Rachael Heath got hit with a pitch to load the bases. A grounder to the Cougars' pitcher would be an easy second out before Samantha Ohmie could step in with two on and two outs. Ohmie took the 0-1 count deep to left field to end the game with a three-run homer.
UP NEXT Saint Leo will return to Sunshine State Conference play as they travel to Boca Raton to take on Lynn March 17-18.
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.