SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo softball team’s (25-12) pitching staff proved to be too much for the Augustana College Vikings (5-16), as Ashley Urbanik and Kristen Kelly combined to throw two complete game shutouts, Tuesday evening from University Field.
In game one, Urbanik surrendered only one hit en route to the 3-0 win. The pitching success seemed to rub off on Kelly, scattering four hits over five innings of work. The offense also got its act together as they collected 14 hits in the 8-0 win.
A sluggish start didn’t stop the Lions from swinging as the Saint Leo totaled 18 hits on the doubleheader. Tatiana led all batters with four hits in seven chances while scoring and driving in a run. Tiffinee Harvey continues to demonstrate her power with the bat going 3-for-6 on the night with two home runs and four RBI. Elysha Agen also collected a trio of singles and came around to score twice. Brittany Yates delivered a triple and an RBI as she went 2-for-5 from the plate, while her teammate, Urbanik, collected a pair of hits and drove in two runs. Dianna Gonzalez, Ali Lamb, Ally Maddox and Amber Martyn added their names to hit column, each picking up a single.
Game one only featured five total hits, fortunately for the Saint Leo faithful four were for the Green and Gold. After zeroes popped up on the board for the first two and a half innings, SLU put a one spot up as Harvey delivered the first of her two blasts of the night over the right centerfield fence to give the Lions a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, SLU expanded their lead to 3-0 as they plated two runs to help solidify the win. An Agen single and a Muchmore fielder’s choice put Lions at first and second with no one out. Agen then came around to score on a Vikings’ miscue making the score 2-0. A sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position and Harvey came up with her second big hit of the day delivering an RBI double to centerfield allowing Muchmore to score.
Urbanik made the 3-0 lead stand as she kept the Vikings’ hitters at bay all night. The Lions hurler (15-10) brought a no-hitter with her into the top of the seventh inning but lost it on a one out double to left center field. She regrouped to retire the next two batters as she closed the night with a complete game shutout, her third of the season. Urbanik totaled 12 strikeouts while allowing only two walks.
The Lions refused to let their bats stay silent in game two, as the team struck with some first inning, two out magic. With Casis on second and Yates on first, Urbanik collected her first hit of the series driving a ball to leftfield scoring Casis.
The Lions maintained their 1-0 lead heading into the bottom of the third when Urbanik smacked her second RBI single to leftfield scoring Yates, who earlier tripled to centerfield.
Harvey officially opened the offensive barrage as she hammered a two-out, two-run home run to left centerfield to give Saint Leo the 4-0 lead. Casis kept the momentum going, sending a double down the leftfield. She was then knocked in by Yates, as she ripped a shot past the third baseman for an RBI single.
The 5-0 lead quickly grew to the final 8-0 score in the bottom of the fifth. After Maddox and Gonzalez were sacrificed into the scoring position, Martyn connected with her biggest hit of the night sending a double down the leftfield line scoring both runners. After a ground out moved Martyn over to third with two outs, it set the stage for Casis to end the game in five innings. The senior made good on her opportunity singling a ball sharply through the left side scoring Martyn.
Kelly was just as dominant in the circle for SLU, scattering four hits in her fifth complete game of the season. She struck out three batters and surrendered only one walk.
The series marked the final non-conference series of the 2009 year for the Green and Gold as they shift their attention to Sunshine State Conference. Barry University is first challenger for SLU, as they come to University Field on Friday, March 27 to play in the first of three games. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 pm.