#14 Softball shuts out Rollins to open series, 7-0

#14 Softball shuts out Rollins to open series, 7-0

SAINT LEO, Fla. – The 14th-ranked Saint Leo softball team blanked the Rollins College Tars 7-0 to open up their Sunshine State Conference series Thursday night behind a dominating performance in the circle from Stephanie Adkins.

Stephanie Adkins moves to 20-6 on the year after pitching her 17th complete game. Adkins struck out eight batters on the way moving to 157 on the year. Adkins tossed a three-hit shutout for her sixth solo shutout of the season.

Saint Leo (36-12, 16-6 SSC) moves into sole possession of first place in the SSC after picking up their 16th win with Tampa (15-6 SSC) kicking off their final series tomorrow versus Florida Southern. The Lions combined for nine hits from the plate led by Danielle Bottley who tallied three hits. Bottley dropped down two bunt singles while hitting a single to the pitcher to finish 3-for-4 on the night.

Ciera Schumaker and Sarah Pauscher each collected two hits on the night as Schumaker went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and one RBI in the three-hole. Pauscher, hitting in the five-hole, went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBI. Samantha Ohmie and Alyssa Wash each tallied one RBI on the night. Kacie Kelly and Olivia Prieto were both credited with one run scored each on the night.

Saint Leo used two two-run innings and a three-run fifth to slide past the Tars 7-0. The Lions scored two runs in the second and the third to jump out to a 4-0 lead heading into the fifth.

An error in right field in the bottom of the second saw Danielle Bottley and Sarah Pauscher come in to score to put the Lions up 2-0 on a fly ball from Brittany Creamer, that should've been caught to end the inning.

In the bottom of the third, a Ciera Schumaker triple scored Kacie Kelly from third to start the scoring for the Lions. Pauscher came up and singled to center field scoring Schumaker for the fourth run of the game.

Adkins made quick work in the fourth inning, tossing three pitches and recording three outs allowing the Lions to get back to offense. Following a five-batter fourth Saint Leo in the bottom half, Adkins came right back and threw one pitch and got the first out of the fifth inning. Adkins struck out the next batter before ending the inning with her sixth 'K' of the night.

Rollins found themselves in trouble in the bottom of the fifth as the Lions were charging and not much could stop them. A leadoff double by Schumaker put a runner in scoring position quick for Samantha Ohmie. Ohmie would single up the middle and advance to second on the throw home before Olivia Prieto came in to run. Pauscher came up again with runners in scoring position and singled down the right field line, scoring Prieto and forcing a pitching change.

Bottley came up with a bunt single after the pitching change to put two runners on with no outs. A Wash groundout to the right side of the infield allowed for Pauscher to score before Kelly was intentionally walked to load the bases. A soft groundout ended the inning for the Lions who were looking to put the game away in five innings but led 7-0 heading to the sixth.

Adkins had a 1-2-3 inning for the Lions in the circle with two fly outs to right field and a strikeout. Saint Leo put a runner on the bases in the bottom of the sixth but couldn't bring them around to add to their 7-0 lead.

In the top of the seventh, Adkins got the first two batters to line out and a strikeout. Kacie Booth laid down a perfect bunt for a single to give the Tars a glimpse of hope with two outs in the seventh. A base knock from Hali Marshall saw Michelle George dive for the fly ball but kept it in front of her where Brittany Creamer grabbed it and threw to Ciera Schumaker to record the final out of the game.

Saint Leo returns to action tomorrow, April 28, as they host Rollins in a doubleheader scheduled to start at 6 p.m. at University Softball Stadium to close out the regular season. Between the two games, the Lions will honor their five seniors – Rachael Heath, Michelle George, Stephanie Adkins, Danielle Bottley, Samantha Ohmie – as they will play their last regular season game in the Green and Gold.

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.