SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo softball team (15-13, 2-4 SSC) split its doubleheader with No.11-ranked Barry University, Saturday afternoon from Buccaneer Field. The Sunshine State Conference showdown saw Saint Leo overturn the Bucs in game one, 7-5, before Barry upended the Lions, 8-0, in game two.
Backed by Brittany Yates' grand slam in the sixth inning, the Lions overcame a 5-2 deficit to bounce the nationally-ranked Buccaneers in game one of the doubleheader. However, the Bucs' offense strung together 11 hits in game two as they won the season series over the Lions, 2-1, posting an 8-0 game two win.
The Lions totaled 10 hits in the doubleheader. Three Lions compiled multiple hit games, including Alex Garris as she led the team going a combined 4-for-5. Ashlee Sismilich notched three hits while Rachelle Gremo went 2-for-6, including her second home run of the season. In addition to her grand slam, Yates led the team with five RBI.
Game one saw Sismilich and Gremo provide the Lions an early spark as a first inning double by Sismilich was followed by a Gremo two-out blast over the left center field fence, putting Saint Leo up 2-0.
Barry battled back to tie the contest in the third inning as they platted both their runs on an RBI single as well as a sacrifice fly. Barry took the lead an inning later as a two-run double by Alyssa Goldsmith put the home standing Bucs on top, 4-2.
After Barry added another run in the fifth inning, the Lions mounted a remarkable comeback to take the lead in the sixth. A pair of infield singles from Alex Garris and Sismilich, in addition to McKenzie Burns reaching on an error, brought Yates to the plate with no outs. With one swing of the bat Yates gave the Lions the lead as she sent her 33rd career home run over the left field fence putting the Lions up 6-5. The blast ties Ashley Urbanik for the all-time home run record lead.
Saint Leo added an insurance run in the seventh as Yates drew a bases loaded walk to give the Lions a 7-5 advantage.
Ashley Ehlers, who came in of relief of starter Kristen Kelly, shut Barry down in the seventh to solidify the win. She tossed 3.2 innings, surrendered one run and struck out two Bucs while improving to 3-1.
The Lions couldn't carry the momentum to game two, however, as Barry scored eight runs across the opening five frames, including a five-run fourth inning. Offensively, the Lions totaled three hits in the loss.
Megan Still took the loss for the Lions as she fell to 6-8.
Softball will return to action on Wednesday, March 14, as they travel to Clermont, Fla. to battle New Haven and West Chester in non-region action. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. from the International Training Center.
For the latest news, information, and updates on the softball team, visit SaintLeoLions.com.