SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo University softball team (23-12) quickly put yesterday’s tough losses behind them as they swept the North Alabama Lions (13-13) in doubleheader action from University Field Saturday evening.
In game one, the Lions received outstanding pitching from Ashley Urbanik en route to 3-1 victory. Game two was a little bit more of a struggle for SLU but a late rally eventually spotted the Lions an extra-innings, 4-3 victory.
Four Lions picked up two hits during the important regional games. Brittany Yates being one of those four, going 2-for-5 with three runs scored while Amber Martyn and Tiffinee Harvey went 2-for-4 and 2-for-5, respectively. Ashley Urbanik also connected on a pair of extra-base hits for SLU and was the winner in the circle in both contests. Tatiana Casis and Ali Lamb each went 1-for-3 at the plate and scored a run and Ally Maddox went drove in a run as she went 1-for-4 at the plate. Elysha Agen added to the Lions 12 total hits with a single in game two.
In game one, both offenses really began to cook in the fourth inning. UNA was the first to break through on the scoreboard converting a Lions’ miscue into a run. But the Lions answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning to take the lead. After Yates led the inning off with a single, Urbanik followed with a triple down the leftfield line to even the score at 1-1. Maddox then gave SLU the lead for good as she connected on the Lions third consecutive hit of the inning scoring Urbanik from third.
With the score 2-1 in favor of the Green and Gold, Harvey provided the Lions with an insurance run, hitting a sacrifice fly to centerfield scoring Martyn from third.
Urbanik (14-10) made the 3-1 lead standup as she sat the last six North Alabama batters down in order. The Lions’ hurler scattered three hits over seven innings while striking out six batters.
Game two started out as bit of a struggle for SLU, as they quickly found themselves down 2-0 entering the bottom of the third inning.
But the Lions began to claw their way back into the game loading the bases with no outs. Harvey then cut the lead in half as she delivered a sacrifice fly down the left field foul line scoring Lamb.
Unfortunately for SLU, North Alabama ended the threat and increased the lead back to two with a run in top of the fifth to make the score 3-1.
The Lions missed out on a opportunity to score in the fifth, but with the game still 3-1 in favor of UNA the Saint Leo mounted a comeback in the bottom of the sixth.
After Casis walked, Yates doubled her home to make the score 3-2. Urbanik then followed with her second extra-base hit of the day doubling to centerfield to tie the game, 3-3.
Neither team could score in the seventh, forcing SLU’s fourth extra-innings ballgame of the season. A leadoff double couldn’t be converted into runs for UNA in the top half of the eight leaving the door open for Saint Leo in the bottom half.
Yates led the inning off with a walk and advanced to third on Urbanik’s fielder’s choice. Maddox was then intentionally walked to load the bases for Danielle Moreda. Moreda forced the count to 3-1 and on the very next pitch watched ball four sail low allowing Yates to come home with the game-winning run. The Lions are now 2-2 in extra-inning ballgames this season.
Urbanik, who toed the mound for the second consecutive game, improved to 14-10 this the season. She scattered nine hits and striking out five batters and only allowed one earned run in 15 innings of work.
Saint Leo will rest up in preparation for their next home doubleheader contest against Augustana on Tuesday, March 24. First pitch from University Field is set for 5:00 pm.