SAINT LEO, Fla. – After a 12-day break, the Saint Leo softball team will take to the field for a pair of Sunshine State Conference series. The Lions first opponent, Florida Southern, will travel from Lakeland, Fla. to University Field to open their series with the Green & Gold on Tuesday, April 13. First pitch is set for 7:00 p.m. A doubleheader between the two teams will follow on Wednesday beginning at 6:00 p.m.

The Lions enter the series with an 18-23 overall mark and 5-7 in the SSC. The Mocs, on the other hand, own a 21-19 record and stand 7-11 in the conference. Both teams have had their struggles as of late, with the Lions having dropped each of their last four games and Florida Southern losers of four of their last six contests. The two teams currently stand sixth and seventh in the conference standings. Currently, FSC owns a 74-16 series advantage.

The Lions’ offensive bunch is led by Elysha Agen and her .384 average. She has collected a team-high 53 hits, scored 30 runs, and stolen a team-high six bases. Of her 53 hits, 19 have gone for extra-bases, including 14 doubles. Tiffinee Harvey is second on the team with a .354 batting average. She scored a team-best 31 times, driven in 25 runs, and leads the team with 17 doubles. Brittany Yates has blasted 10 home runs, collected 33 RBI and has amassed a .286 batting average. Sarah Boyd is a .262 hitter and has accounted for 25 RBI, while Dianne Gonzalez continues to move up the hitting chart with a .259 average.

As a team, SLU is batting .266 scoring 159 runs on the season. Of their 286 hits, 102 have gone for extra-bases, including 62 doubles and 30 home runs.

The Lions pitching staff is also continuing to shows signs of improvement, as their team-ERA has now dipped below four (3.91). Ashton Whidden leads the Lions’ pair with a 12-10 overall and a 2.90 ERA. She has amassed 70 strikeouts and allowed 46 earned runs in 142.2 innings pitched. Jaime Walker is 5-7 on the year with 4.63 ERA. In total, the junior has surrendered just 10 walks in 79.2 innings pitched.

SLU is seeking revenge on the Mocs, as they were swept by their rivals in an SSC series last year. After dropping the first game by the score of 12-4, the Lions regrouped and played the Mocs to the last pitch in what was the tightest game of the series. Unfortunately, a fifth inning run put the Mocs up by the eventual final score of 2-1. Game three packed all the excitement of game two, but it was the bats that did all the talking. The two teams combined to score 18 runs but a seventh-inning rally fell short, as Saint Leo fell by the score of 10-8.

The Mocs are coming off a pair of conference series defeats to both the Barry Buccaneers and the Lynn University Fighting Knights. Florida Southern is having their difficulties on the road as well, having amassed a 3-9 mark.

Offensively, Bethany Boomer is helping carry the Mocs’ offense with a .386 batting average. She has collected 49 total hits and driven in 14 runs. Lindsay Powell is nipping at her teammates heels with a .377 average.  She leads the team with four home runs 25 runs scored. Eli Howell is a .311 hitter and Erin Foley has posted a team-high 24 RBI. The team is batting .288 as a team, scoring 149 runs and 53 extra-base hits.

In the circle, three pitchers have combined for the teams 21 wins. They are led by Brittany Alderman, who has posted a 3.02 ERA in 116.0 innings pitched and a 10-9 record. Christine Clark is 8-8 on the campaign, accumulating a 2.18 ERA in 96.1 innings pitched. Morgan Brown has also compiled three wins on the year in five appearances. The staff has combined to post a 2.33 ERA and 175 strikeouts.

Following the series with Florida Southern, the team will get ready for weekend showdown with Nova Southeastern.