SAINT LEO, Fla. – Despite collecting 17 hits in the doubleheader, the Saint Leo softball team (14-17) fell for the seventh consecutive time, dropping a pair of decisions to Peach Belt opponent Francis Marion University (14-17), Wednesday afternoon from University Field. In game one, the Lions’ offense could not keep up with the Patriots as they fell 7-4. The trend continued in game two where they were upended 11-4. The losing streak is the Lions longest this season.
In the non-conference contest, Elysha Agen led the way with four hits, while Sarah Boyd 2-for-5 with her fifth home run. Brittany Yates registered three hits, including a pair of doubles and Jaime Walker compiled three RBI in a 2-for-6 performance from the plate. Dianne Gonzalez and Tiffinee Harvey also posted two doubles apiece and combined t score three runs. Danielle Moreda delivered a single, and freshman Alex Garris went 1-for-5 with a run scored in her collegiate debut.
Despite the offensive punch returning for the Lions; it was the Patriots who broke the ice plating a run on two hits in the top of the first inning to gain a 1-0 advantage. Yates made the best of her at-bat in the bottom of the second, connecting on a one-out double. After advancing to third on a sacrifice, the Lions’ catcher scored on a wild pitch to tie the game.
Saint Leo took the lead away from Francis Marion in the fourth inning when Yates connected on her second double of the afternoon, driving in Harvey from second base.
The 2-1 lead was short lived, however, as the Patriots answered with six runs in the top of the fifth inning. The big blow came off the bat of Ashley Jaramillo, connecting on a two-run double.
Walker’s two-run single in the bottom of the sixth cut the lead to three at 7-4, but it was not enough to push the Lions over the hump as they fell by the same score.
Walker picked-up the loss for SLU, allowing eight hits and six runs over 4.2 innings pitched. She now stands 4-4 for the season.
In game two, it appeared to be a reversal of fortunes as Saint Leo broke open a first inning 1-0 lead. Unfortunately, the second Patriots’ six-run inning of the day quickly put the Lions at a five-run disadvantage. A two-out error extended the inning for Francis Marion which was once again capitalized by a Jaramillo two-run double.
Saint Leo tried chipping away at the lead, plating a run in the third inning as a Harvey double off the fence scored Ana Castillo from first base.
After the Patriots tacked on one more in the top of the sixth inning to make the score 8-2, the Lions pushed with one last late-innings gasp. After recording two quick outs, Boyd sent a solo shot over the centerfield fence. The home run was followed by a Gonzalez double and another RBI single by Walker to cut the lead in half, 8-4.
Francis Marion put the game out of reach in the seventh though, as three runs on four hits, headlined by a Jessica Birchmeier two-run double, catapulted the lead to eight, 11-4.
The score remained the same to the final pitch, as Francis Marion took their third game of the season of from the Green & Gold.
Saint Leo returns to action on Thursday, March 18 against Molloy College. First pitch for the doubleheader is set 1:00 p.m. at University Field.