SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo University softball team (26-14, 5-4 SSC) strung together five hits and six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning of game two to give the Lions the dramatic win. Ashley Urbanik culminated it with a walk-off, three-run home run to give the Lions a 6-5 victory over the Barry University Buccaneers (22-10, 7-2 SSC), Saturday afternoon at University Field. Saint Leo, unfortunately, was not able to capture the first game though as they dropped a 5-0 Sunshine State Conference decision earlier in the day.
On the day, the Lions banged out 12 hits including four players with two hits apiece. Urbanik delivered one of those two-hit performances, going 2-for-5 from the plate with a home run and three RBI. Amber Martyn and Elysha Agen also contributed a pair of hits, while senior Tatiana Casis smashed a double while going 2-for-7 from the plate. Dianna Gonzalez also connected on a double and scored a run as she went 1-for-3 from the plate. Tiffinee Harvey also proved a double and a run scored, while her teammates, Katrina Muchmore and Ali Lamb each picked up singles.
Game one started off as a good old fashioned pitcher’s duel between Urbanik and Jack as the duo exchanged zeroes until the top of the fifth inning. That’s when Natalie Heeley struck again for the Bucs’ recording her fourth RBI of the series on a single to leftfield.
SLU was not able to answer the run in the bottom half of the inning, despite a leadoff single from Urbanik.
With the game still in question, Barry was able to collect four hits in the top of the seventh resulting in four more runs crossing the plate. The 5-0 lead was upheld by Jack in the bottom half of the inning as Saint Leo could not plate a run.
Urbanik (15-12) surrendered eight hits and four earned runs in the first game, while striking out four Buccaneers.
Game two started out nearly the same way game one did, with zeroes for both team during the first three innings, despite the two teams leaving a total of eight runners on during the stretch.
Barry managed to crack the scoreboard first in the top of the fourth inning, as three hits and one Lions’ miscue gave the Buccaneers an early 3-0 lead.
Saint Leo came up empty in their efforts to put some runs on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning, despite putting the first two runners of the inning on base.
An inning later, Barry added to the 3-0 lead as a pair of RBI singles gave the Buccaneers a 5-0 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh inning.
The Bucs brought Jack back into the game in the fifth inning in an attempt to close out the game. The strategy eventually backfired as the powerful Saint Leo offense finally broke through against the ace. Gonzalez led off the inning with a double which was followed up with a single back up the middle by Ali Lamb. One batter later, Agen drove a single down the leftfield line to score Gonzalez. Harvey then connected on her biggest hit of the day with an RBI double scoring two runs. With the score 5-3, Yates drew a walk putting runners at the corners for Urbanik. After fighting off some tough pitches, the Lions’ five-hole hitter launched a ball to deep centerfield and over the fence. The walk-off, three-run blast gave SLU the important SSC and region victory.
Lions’ hurler Kristen Kelly got the win for the Lions as she went seven strong innings while giving up three earned runs.
The six runs in the seventh also ended Jack’s consecutive scoreless innings streak at 52 and two-thirds innings and marked the most runs Jack has given up in a single inning all season.
The Lions jump right back into SSC play on Tuesday, March 31 when they travel to Lakeland, Fla. to take on the Florida Southern College Moccasins. First pitch of the game is scheduled for 7:00 pm.