SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo softball team (1-1) opened its 2010 campaign with a split of NAIA opponent Webber International University (2-1), Monday evening from University Field. The Lions dropped the first game 1-0 but scored seven runs in the second contest to solidify their first win of the 2010 season.
In total, the Lions collected nine hits in the doubleheader. Tiffinee Harvey led the charge going 2-for-5 on the evening with a pair of doubles and one RBI. She also drew two walks and scored a pair of runs. Harvey was also one of four players to steal a bag against the Warriors. Elysha Agen also contributed a solid contest, going 3-for-8 from the plate with one double and two RBI. Junior-transfer Sarah Boyd made an immediate impact for her new squad, going 1-for-4 from the plate, while driving in two runs and scoring once. Danielle Moreda and Dianne Gonzalez each added singles for the Green & Gold, before Amber Martyn capped the night with a hit and a run scored.
The first game developed at a slow pace, as hitters went deep into counts and fought-off multiple pitches. Despite the patient hitting tactics by both teams, neither could find a rhythm on the scoreboard as the game remained scoreless for the first five innings. In fact the NAIA foe was outhitting the Green & Gold 5-to-1, going into the top of the sixth when Webber eventually struck. With two outs, the Warriors put an infield hit deep in the hole between shortstop and third base allowing the runner at third to come home to score. It was the only run accounted for in the game as Saint Leo could not break onto the scoreboard before the final out.
The Lions best opportunity came in the bottom of the seventh inning when the Lions possessed runners at first and second with one out. Unfortunately, a fly ball double play dampened the Lions’ plans, falling in their home opener, 1-0.
Despite the tough loss, Lions’ starter Kristin Kelly threw 7.0 innings and allowed eight hits. She surrendered just one run and struck out six Warriors.
The mini momentum builder at the end of the first game carried over into the game two, as Saint Leo used two walks and three hits to score their first three runs of the season. Boyd knocked home the Lions first run with a single to centerfield scoring Harvey. Moreda followed it up with a single single to left center as well, scoring Brittany Yates. Gonzalez used some unintentional small ball during her at-bat, as her infield hit plated the Lions third and final run of the inning.
As Ashton Whidden continued to control Warrior hitters from the circle, the Saint Leo offense expanded their lead to 5-0 with two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Harvey connected with her 23rd career double to bring home Ana Castillo and Boyd eventually brought Harvey home on a sacrifice fly to leftfield.
Saint Leo added pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth, when Agen doubled to right centerfield bringing home Katie Gwinn and Martyn.
Now with a 1-1 record, the Lions will head to Pensacola, Fla. to take on Gulf South Conference powerhouses West Florida, North Alabama, and No. 1-ranked Alabama-Huntsville at the SSC/GSC Crossover Tournament. Their first series against West Florida is set to begin on Friday, February 12th on the campus of West Florida with first pitch coming at 3:00 p.m. local time.