FLORENCE, S.C. – The Saint Leo University softball team (11-10) split the opening day of the Francis Marion Tournament in Florence, S.C. In the opening game of the day, the Lions controlled both momentum and the score board until a seventh inning blast ended the Lions hopes of an upset of the No.4-ranked Francis Marion Patriots. Still, SLU rebounded in the second game to take a 2-1 decision from Queens University of Charlotte Friday at Florence Freedom Park.
Senior Tatiana Casis once again led the Lions in hitting on the day going 3-for-6, including a double and an RBI. Amber Martyn, Elysha Agen and Ashley Urbanik each collected two hits on the day while driving in a run. The freshman pair of Brittany Yates and Ali Lamb each picked up a base hit, while Tiffinee Harvey and senior Ally Maddox followed right behind.
Game one was a tough one for the Lions to swallow, as the team dominated the host No. 4-ranked Patriots the first six innings. The Lions broke through in the top half of the second inning, as starting pitch Ashley Urbanik connected on a solo shot to leftfield to put the Lions up 1-0.
SLU was right back at it in the top of the third as they tacked on two more runs to make the score 3-0. A Harvey infield single pushed Agen to second base, setting up another opportunity for the red-hot Casis. Casis was able to deliver again in the clutch situation, as she doubled to left center to plate Agen. Maddox followed with an RBI single to score Harvey, but the Lions could not score anymore.
Urbanik continued to silence the Patriots’ bats through six innings, unfortunately SLU couldn’t score anymore the back-up the effort from Urbanik in the circle.
The score remained the same until the bottom of the seventh when the Patriots were able to sneak one run across to make the score 3-1. But an error continued the inning for the Patriots, as they loaded the bases once again with two outs. The seven-hole hitter ended the Lions hopes at an upset, as she delivered a walk off home run giving Francis Marion the win.
Urbanik was tagged with the game one loss despite not allowing an earned run and is now 5-9 this season.
Game two was certainly going to be a mental challenge for the Lions, as they had to take the field less than 20 minutes after the devastating game one loss. But, Saint Leo was able to do so as they came away with a 2-1 win.
After a scoreless first two innings, Saint Leo struck in the bottom of the third. With Lamb on first base, Saint Leo put the initial run on the as Martyn tripled down the leftfield line plating the Lions second baseman. Agen followed with an RBI single up the middle to deliver the second run of the ball, the eventual game-winning run.
In the top of the fourth inning, the Royals of Queen’s University of Charlotte cut the lead in half as an error brought around the runner from second to make the score 2-1.
That’s as close as the Royals came though as Kristen Kelly, who came in for Urbanik in the third, closed the door on any chance of a Queen’s upset as she went the final five innings, scattering four hits and giving no earned runs. Kelly improves to 5-1 on the season.
The squad is set to take to the field again tomorrow at 1:00 pm as they square off with Lenoir-Rhyne in game which will be followed by a showdown with Lander at 5:00 pm. Both games are scheduled to be broadcasted live on the Saint Leo Lions AudioCast Network.