SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo softball team (3-3) continues preparations for this weekend’s Eckerd College Spring Invitational. The Lions, who are coming off a 2-2 outing at the SSC/GSC Crossover in Pensacola, Fla. have six tough games scheduled, including five in-region contests.

On Friday, Saint Leo will take on the Drury University Panthers, before being paired up with the University of West Florida for the second time in a week. Saturday is pair of region games against Peach Belt Conference contender, Flagler College and will close out the day against Gulf South Conference powerhouse Valdosta State. Sunday sees a pair of Sunshine State Conference programs tangle with SLU. Nova Southeastern is the first school on tap, before host institution Eckerd College rounds-out competition for the week.

Saint Leo kicked-off their 2010 campaign last Monday, splitting their home opener against the Webber Warriors at University Field. The Lions dropped the first game, but did rebound in game two behind a strong effort in the circle from Ashton Whidden.

Following the season debut, the squad traveled to Pensacola, Fla. to take part in the Crossover Tournament. SLU managed only one runs, while North Alabama broke through for three runs over the course of the game to take the front end of the doubleheader. The loss negated a 2-for-3 day by Tiffinee Harvey and dropped the Lions to 1-2.  However, the team did rebound in game two. Whidden threw a complete game and Harvey was a perfect-3-for-3 from the plate as SLU pulled even at .500 winning 6-4.

In the final series of the weekend, the Lions took on West Florida and Palm Beach Atlantic. Against the Argonauts, the Green & Gold were 8-2 victims, as UWF scored runs in all but one inning. The tide turned once again on the back end of the doubleheader, as Saint Leo won a thrilling 3-2 decision against the Sailfish with a Harvey game-winning single in the bottom of the seventh.

On the season, the Lions are hitting .222 as team and have scored 19 runs. Defensively, Saint Leo has committed just three errors in 56 attempts for a .984 fielding percentage. Harvey is leading the way with a .529 average and was tabbed SSC Player of the Week. She has scored six runs, connected on six extra-base hits, including two home runs, and totaled six RBI. Brittany Yates also began to catch fire in Pensacola, finishing the week hitting .316 with a double, a home run, and four RBI. Dianne Gonzalez is batting .250 with four hits in 16 at-bats. Elysha Agen and Amber Martyn have combined for nine hits, while Danielle Moreda and Sarah Boyd knocked in three and four runs, respectively. Going into the game, Harvey has picked up a hit in each of her six games. Meanwhile, the Lions as a team have scored nearly half of their 19 total runs in the first inning (nine runs). The team has answered every loss with a win and is 3-0 when scoring three or more runs. The Lions enter the tournament on a one-game winning streak.

ABOUT DRURY…
Drury is a member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference and currently stands at 0-2 on the season. Sadie Ball is their leading hitter, batting a .750 clip through the first pair of games. She has gone 3-for-4 with a double and a home run. They are batting .180 as a team and have committed two errors in the field. Junior Brittany Davis is their top hurler, throwing seven complete innings in her first and only outing of the year. She surrendered 10 hits and five earned runs taking the loss for the Panthers.

ABOUT WEST FLORIDA…
West Florida is a member of the Gulf South Conference and is 4-1 on the season. The Argonauts defeated the Lions in their first meeting this season by the score of 8-2. Their lone loss on the season came against SSC competitor Nova Southeastern. The squad is filled with talented hitters including, Amber Ingram and Jillian LaFrance. Ingram is batting .579 on the year, while LaFrance is batting .467. The duo has combined for 18 hits. In fact, five hitters have a batting average over .330. In the circle, LaFrance is 3-1 with 0.55 ERA. She has surrendered two earned runs in 25.1 innings of work.

ABOUT FLAGLER…
Peach Belt Conference member Flagler College is currently 3-3 on the season. The Saints are led by Kaycee Lisa who is batting .636 on the year with seven hits, including a triple. She is slugging .818 and has struck out once in 11 at-bats. Brittney Hatem has collected five RBI on the season and is batting .500. Six hitters are batting above .300, while the team is hitting at a .327 clip. Kelly Riddick leads the Saints in the circle, collecting a 2-1 record and compiling a 3.26 ERA.

ABOUT VALDOSTA STATE…
The Blazers are a major player in the Gulf South Conference. Currently ranked seventh in the NFCA National Top-25, VSU is batting .339 as a team and is 2-0 on the season. Led by Marti Littlefield’s .500 average, Valdosta State have seven players batting over .300. The team already has six round trippers and have pushed across 21 runs across the plate. They also have a two-headed monster in the circle as Holly Satterfield and Margaret Carter have combined for 0.64 ERA and allowed just two runs.

ABOUT NOVA SOUTHEASTERN…
SSC foe Nova Southeastern is also ranked in the top-25, standing in the No. 15 position. The Sharks are 5-1 on the season with their only loss coming to West Florida at the Crossover Tournament. The Sharks have five batter’s batting over .400 and have scored 41 runs as a team. Noemi Luciani is their sparkplug as she is batting .529 on the year with a team-best nine hits. Lexi Sarradet and Dani Caron have combined for a 4-1 record and allowed just 16 earned runs. Defensively, the Sharks have committed seven errors and are fielding .962.

ABOUT ECKERD…
Eckerd College is a member of the Sunshine State Conference and is off to an impressive 3-3 start on the season. The squad has four batters hitting over .315 and have scored 19 total runs. Eckerd is also the host school for the tournament and two weeks into the season has yet to play a game outside of their home field. The Tritons have committed eight errors in 54 chances.

Each of the six games can be heard live on the SaintLeoLions AudioCast Network, presented by Penn Atlantic.