CLEARWATER, Fla. – The Saint Leo softball team (3-7) continued action at the Eckerd College Spring Invitational by dropping a pair in-region contest, Saturday afternoon from the Eddie C. Moore Complex. SLU fell in the opener, dropping an 8-2 decision to No.7-ranked the Valdosta State Blazers. It was followed with a 6-3 defeat at the hands of Flagler.

On the day, the Lions collected nine hits, including a trio of players who delivered two hits apiece. Lions’ centerfielder Tiffinee Harvey helped lead the charge, as her two hits plated two runs. Brittany Yates went 2-for-7 on the day with a double, and Amber Martyn went 2-for-7 with a pair of runs scored. Sarah Boyd and Elysha Agen collected base hits, while Ana Castillo connected on the first base-hit of her Saint Leo career with a single down the right field line. Agen and Martyn also helped contribute to the Lions’ run total by scoring two of their five runs.

In game one, the Lions took on national challengers Valdosta State. State entered the game No. 7 in the latest NFCA National Top-25 Poll. But it was the Lions who were the aggressors in the early. Harvey out SLU up on the board first with a one-out RBI doubles to left centerfield.

Valdosta State tied the ball game up in the bottom of the second with a run on two hits. The Blazers took the lead in the next inning as Amber Hutchins connected on a three-run home run to give VSU a 4-1 advantage. 

The lead proved to be insurmountable as Valdosta padded the advantage with a run in the fourth and three more in the bottom the of the sixth.

Yates platted the Lions second run of the day as her RBI double, momentarily cut the lead to 5-2. In total, Saint Leo managed only four hits off of Holly Satterfield and committed two errors. In the circle, Jaime Walker picked-up the loss for the Lions and dropped to 1-2 on the season. After a solid first two innings, Walker surrendered seven runs over the final five.  She struck out three batters and forced 11 ground ball outs.

The Lions immediately jumped into their second game of the day against Flagler College.

It was not the start SLU wanted, surrendering three runs in the top half of the first inning on no hits and two errors. The slow-paced game saw Flagler tack onto their lead in the third with one run, before icing it in the fourth with a pair of runs on two hits.

Saint Leo got on the scoreboard in the sixth when Boyd sent a rocket up the middle for an RBI single, scoring Agen.

The Lions did their best to get back into the game in the final inning as they loaded the bases with one out. After a sacrifice fly brought home freshman Katie Gwinn, Harvey knocked home Castillo to cut the lead in half, 6-3.

Unfortunately, SLU could not push anymore across the plate as they fell for the fourth-straight contest.

In the circle, the Lions’ Ashton Whidden received the loss. She went 3.1 innings and allowed four walks and four earned runs over that period. Kristen Kelly did an admirable job in relief for the Lions. She went 3.2 innings, struck out two batters, and did not allow a run.

The Lions will round-out the 2010 version of the Eckerd College Invitational with a pair of non-conference contests beginning with Nova Southeastern at 11:30 a.m.  Eckerd follows with a 2:00 p.m. scheduled first pitch. Each game will be broadcast live on the SaintLeoLions AudioCast Network.