March 16, 2013

Saint Leo Softball Falls to PBA in Regional Doubleheader

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – It was a difficult Saturday afternoon for the Saint Leo Lions softball team (21-13), as they fell to the Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish in both games of their regional doubleheader. After scoring first in both games of the day, the Lions were unable to push past the Sailfish as they dropped the first game by a score of 3-2 and lost the second game shortly afterward by a score of 7-2.

Sophomore Ashley Ehlers got the start for the Lions in the first contest of the afternoon, tossing three and one-third innings of work before senior Megan Still came in for relief. Although Still eventually took the loss, the Lions pitching staff combined for six strikeouts and allowed just two walks in the effort.

The first game of the day began with a walk to Saint Leo sophomore McKenzie Burns, who eventually stole second base and scored off of an RBI groundout from junior Sarah Steiner.

The Sailfish answered back in the bottom of the first inning however, when they scored two runs to take the lead.

The Lions were unable to tie the score until the top of the fourth inning, when once again Saint Leo's first batter of the inning, Brittany Ewing, walked to start the offensive effort. Ewing's pinch runner, Tiffany Thompson, was eventually out on a fielder's choice, and with two outs senior Rachelle Gremo was standing on first base. After stealing second, Gremo was set home on a screaming RBI double to left field from sophomore Kelsey LaNeave that tied the game at two.

Neither team was able to score again until the Sailfish took the walk-off win in the bottom of the seventh inning, when senior Brittany Jones collected an RBI double that scored senior Miranda Welch from second base.

The second game of the doubleheader began and ended much like the first one, as the Saint Leo Lions quickly took the lead yet fell behind after the Sailfish offense got going. 

Freshman Alana Tabel took the mound for the Lions in game two, throwing four innings before senior Megan Still and junior Sarah Steiner came in for relief duties. As a pitching staff, the Lions combined for four strikeouts in the second game, allowing four walks and ten hits. 

Saint Leo jumped on the board first during game two of the doubleheader, when Ewing sent an RBI single through the right side that scored both Tiffany Thompson and Sarah Steiner and put the Lions ahead by two.  

Unlike the first game, the Sailfish were unable to answer back until the bottom of the fourth inning. They took the lead quickly, however, scoring three runs on two walks, a wild pitch, a single, a double, and a fielder's choice. 

With the lead in their favor, the Sailfish launched an offensive attack that would last the remainder of the game, while the Lions weren't able to get anything going offensively to counter. In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Sailfish collected four more runs thanks to a walk, two stolen bases, three hits, and two Saint Leo errors. 

Saint Leo tallied five hits and three stolen bases on the afternoon, in addition to four walks.

The Lions will return to action on Tuesday, Mar. 19, when they head to Clermont, Fla. to take on Kuztown and Shippensburg in an evening doubleheader. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. 

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