PENSACOLA, Fla. - The Saint Leo softball team (3-3) concluded action at the SSC/GSC Crossover Tournament by going 1-1 against a pair of regional opponents, Sunday afternoon from the UWF Softball Complex. The Lions opened morning action by dropping an 8-2 decision to the University of West Florida (4-0), before turning back Palm Beach Atlantic (2-3), 3-2, in the afternoon game.
Brittany Yates provided the offensive fireworks for Saint Leo on the second and final day of the tourney, going 3-for-6 from the plate with a home run and three RBI. Dianne Gonzalez also went 3-for-6 from the plate connecting on a trio of singles. Tiffinee Harvey ended play going 2-for-6 and driving in the game-winning RBI against the Sailfish. Amber Martyn rounded-out the four, two-hit efforts by going 2-for-6 from the dish. Jessica Figueredo scored one run and connected on her first collegiate hit, while Danielle Moreda, Elysha Agen and Sarah Boyd concluded the Lions attack, combining for three singles.
In game one, Saint Leo immediately faced a deficit, as the Argos used four hits to collect two runs off of the Lions’ Jaime Walker. Saint Leo answered in the bottom half of the inning as Yates connected on her first home run of the 2010 season, scoring Ana Castillo, to tie the game at two apiece.
However, West Florida scored six unanswered runs over the next five innings to secure the 8-2 victory. UWF managed to score a run in every inning but the fifth. The Lions also totaled just four hits over that same time span and struck out on nine at-bates.
Walker took the loss for Saint Leo, falling to 0-1 on the season, allowing three earned runs over 2.0 innings. Kristin Kelly came entered in the game in relief in the third where she surrendered seven hits and four earned runs in 5.0 innings of work.
Soon after, the Lions refocused and set their sights on the Sailfish from Palm Beach Atlantic. In their last meeting, Saint Leo was eliminated by PBA in the elimination round at the Eckerd College Invitational.
After Saint Leo held Palm Beach scoreless in the first inning, Agen started a two run-rally in the bottom half of the frame. Agen singled and soon stole second which was followed by a Harvey walk. Yates then sent a shot down the in the direction of the PBA third baseman which she bobbled; the ball sailed into leftfield where it was misplayed by the fielder allowing Agen to score. Harvey, who advanced to third on the error, scored when Boyd used her one hit on the day to bring her home.
The Sailfish cut the lead in half with an RBI single in the second inning. At that time both pitchers, Ashton Whidden and Ashley Jones, began to settle down and put zeroes on the scoreboard.
Between the third and sixth innings, scoring threats were minimal as the teams totaled three hits apiece.
The Sailfish, however, refused to be held down as an RBI single scored the game tying run with two outs in the top of the seventh.
Still, it was a game the Lions refused to lose. Figueredo led the inning off with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice. After Agen drew a walk, the stage was set for more of Harvey’s heroics. Harvey stepped to the plate and proceeded to rope a single through the right side. The speedy Figueredo rounded third and slid across the plate without a throw to secure the Lions 3-2 win.
Whidden was tremendous in the circle again, throwing her third complete game of the year and capping the day with a career-best six strikeouts. She was charged with one earned run and scattered seven hits.
Next, Saint Leo will take the following week to prepare for the Eckerd College Invitational on Friday, February 19th. The Lions will take on Drury at 5:30 p.m. before facing regional opponent West Florida at 7:30 p.m.
The Tournament will proceed throughout the weekend.