VALDOSTA, Ga. – Less than 24 hours after falling to the rival University of Tampa Spartans in their first NCAA Region game, Saint Leo was defeated by the Albany State Rams by a 2-1 score. The Saturday afternoon loss, which knocked the Lions out of the double-elimination regional tournament, ended Saint Leo's amazing 2013 season with a record of 40-16.
The first run of the contest came early on for Saint Leo when the Lions plated one in the bottom of the first inning. With one out, it was junior Brittany Ewing who drew a walk to give the Lions a quick base runner. After back-to-back singles from Sarah Steiner and Rachelle Gremo, the Lions were in prime position with bases loaded and just one out. Junior Chelsey Steedley then sent a ball up the middle for a fielder's choice that scored Ewing easily and gave the Lions a 1-0 lead.
In their quest not to be eliminated from the loser's bracket of the double-elimination tournament, the Albany State Rams answered back and tied the game in the top of the fourth inning on a double, a single, and one Saint Leo error.
The tie ballgame came down to one swing in the sixth inning, when the Rams' catcher, Chelsea Hicks, sent a solo homerun over the right-centerfield fence. With the Lions unable to score throughout the sixth and seventh innings, the Rams walked away with their first-ever regional win.
Sarah Steiner took the loss in the effort, tossing five full innings and allowing five hits while striking out eight. Freshman Alana Tabel also made a relief appearance in the contest, throwing two innings and allowing just two hits. The loss dropped Steiner's record to 7-2 on the season.
The Lions, ranked No. 23 in the nation, conclude their season 40-16 and are the Sunshine State Conference Champions. The Lions will say farewell to the core pair of seniors that put Saint Leo on the softball map as Megan Still and Rachelle Gremo have concluded their playing careers in the Green and Gold.