SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo softball team (8-8) extended their winning streak to five games, as they exploded for 20 hits and 17 runs in their doubleheader sweep of the Dominican College Chargers (0-2), Sunday evening from University Field.
In the non-conference tilts, Lions’ catcher Brittany Yates was once again the big bat in the lineup going 3-for-6 with three home runs and six RBI in the wins. Amber Martyn scored a pair of runs while going 3-for-5 from the plate and Tiffinee Harvey led all players with four hits on the evening. Harvey, riding an eight game hitting streak, now has 10 doubles through the first 16 games and has hit safely in all but one contest in 2010. Sarah Boyd and Katie Gwinn each went 2-for-4 at the plate totaling three runs scored. Dianne Gonzalez and Danielle Moreda went 2-for-6 apiece while each delivering their first career home runs as a Lion. Also, Ana Castillo and Elysha Agen combined for two hits and three runs scored.
In total, seven Lions had two or more hits and five registered at least two RBI. SLU connected on 10 extra-base hits, including six home runs and three doubles and for the second consecutive series, the Lions closed with a team batting average of over .400.
Action picked up in the bottom of the third inning of game one, as zeros on the scoreboard were soon replaced with a five spot. Harvey opened the scoring with one of her two doubles on the day pushing Agen across the plate. Harvey then trotted home as Yates smacked a two-run shot to dead centerfield. The Lions didn’t sit on the 3-0 lead however, as Moreda tripled home Martyn from first base and Boyd cracked an RBI base knock through the left side to cap the five-run outburst.
Unfortunately, multiple miscues in the top of the fifth led to Dominican jumping back into the game, tying the contest at five on three hits and five errors.
Still, the Lions bounced back in the bottom of the inning in most impressive fashion. For the second time in the game following a Harvey double, Yates smashed her second two-run home run of the game to gain a 7-5 lead. Martyn’s four-pitch walk was followed by the first career home run Moreda. The opposite field shot made the score 9-5. Boyd kept the pressure on earning a free pass in the next at-bat and eventually went to the third on a Gwinn double. With a pair of runners in scoring position, Gonzalez stepped to the plate and lifted a blast over the left centerfield to plate all three runs and extend the lead to 12-5. Still in the fifth, Harvey ripped the game-ending RBI single of the middle scoring Agen from third and giving the Lions an eight-run, mercy rule win.
In the inning, the Lions hit three home runs. Kristin Kelly earned her first win of the season in the game, scattering five hits and allowing one earned run over 7.0 innings of work.
Game two continued to show a resilient Lions’ bunch. After allowing two run to cross the plate in the top of the first, Yates and the Lions provided serious push back. Castillo and Harvey began the inning with singles and Yates brought them all home with one swing of the bat, sending a blast over the leftfield fence to make the score 3-2 in favor of the Green & Gold.
The pitching settled down over the next four innings as the zeros were exchanged going into the bottom of the sixth inning. In the sixth, Boyd sealed the deal with a gargantuan shot over the left centerfield fence to make the score 4-2. Lions’ starter Ashton Whidden closed the Chargers out in order in the top of the seventh.
After allowing two runs in the first inning, Whidden shut the Dominican offense down allowing seven hits and two earned runs over 7.0 innings pitched. The win pushes the junior to 6-2.
The Lions will roar into March as they open Sunshine State Conference play on the road against Eckerd College on Tuesday, March 2 from the Turley Athletics Complex. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.