SAINT LEO, Fla. – Offense ruled the night at University Field, as the Lions (5-4) combined to score 17 runs and collect 17 hits during the two-game sweep of the Flagler College Saints (7-6) Tuesday evening in non-conference action. SLU used three extra-base hits to secure a 6-5 game one victory before pounding out 11 hits in game two to wrap up an 11-7 triumph.
After Flagler put up the first run of the ballgame in the first, the Lions’ offense awoke to score two in the bottom half of the inning. Both Ashley Urbanik and Ally Maddox came around to score, Urbanik on a Tatiana Casis groundout and Maddox on a Brittany Yates RBI single to give the Lions a 2-1 advantage.
The Saints answered the Lions’ call in the top half of the second inning with one run on two singles. SLU then used a two-out rally to collect four runs in the bottom of the inning. After Dianne Gonzalez and Tiffinee Harvey received free passes, Urbanik connected on an RBI single setting the stage for the Lions three-hole hitter Casis. Casis eventually made the Saints pay as she connected on a centerfield blast, her fourth round-tripper of the campaign.
Every bit of those runs were needed as the Saints struck with two runs in the sixth inning to cut the lead to 6-4, before trimming the margin even smaller with a run in the top of the seventh. With one out and the tying run on second base, Urbanik, the game one starting pitcher, settled down to get the final outs of the inning securing the win.
Urbanik (3-4) had an up and down start for the Green and Gold, but did manage to complete all seven innings while giving up five runs (three earned) and striking out nine batters.
The Lions wasted no time getting things started in game two, as Maddox connected on a two-run blast to right centerfield to put the Lions up 2-0. The next batter, Yates, extended that margin to 3-0 on line drive home run over the left field fence, as SLU connected on back-to-back home runs for the second time this season.
Urbanik pushed the lead to 5-0 in the second inning, as she connected on her 25th career home run.
Lions’ starter Kristen Kelly and the defense ran into some trouble in the third and fourth innings, as the Saints connected on seven hits and six runs to re-take the lead 6-5.
Saint Leo wouldn’t be denied though as their offense responded with a six-run fifth inning to regain the lead for good. SLU began the inning with three straight hits, including a lead-off double by Tiffinee Harvey and RBI singles by Casis and Maddox. Four batters later, Amber Martyn delivered a clutch two out, two RBI double which was immediately followed by a two RBI single by Urbanik to complete the offensive outburst.
The explosion held up as Ashton Whidden, who relieved Kelly in the fourth, threw two and 1/3 brilliant innings, scattering three hits and one run over the period. After running into a jam though in the top of the seventh, Urbanik came in to close to the door and pick up her first save of the season. Whidden was credited with the win, her first of the ’09 campaign.
Urbanik anchored the offense that hit .333 as a team tonight, as she went 5-for-7 including her first home run of the season, while adding five RBI. Maddox also had a terrific night, scoring three times while going 3-for-7 at the dish, collecting a double and her second home run of the seaosn. Yates registered a pair of hits on the night, including her first collegiate home run, while Casis went 2-for-6 with a home run and five RBI. Martyn picked up a pair of RBI and Danielle Moreda racked up a pair of hits.
The Lions now turn their attention the Eckerd College Tournament at the Eddie C. Moore complex in Clearwater, Fla., as they get set to take on five regional opponents. Their first game is set for Friday, February 20, as they take on the Nova Southeastern Sharks and will be followed by a showdown with the Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish. First pitch for non-conference game with NSU is slated for 4:00 pm. All games will be broadcasted live on the Saint Leo Lions AudioCast Network.