Saint Leo, Fla. – The Saint Leo softball team split the opening day of their 2014 Saint Leo Spring Invitational, Friday evening from University Softball Stadium. The Lions fell in game one to the No. 6-ranked Armstrong Atlantic State University, 16-4, before upending Lincoln Memorial, 3-2 in the nightcap.
A seven-run first inning keyed the Pirates victory as they collected 16 hits for the game.
The Lions, who posted seven hits, were led by McKenzie Burns as she went 2-4 and scored twice. Sara Steiner also went 2-3 with a double and knocked in two of the four runs on the night for the Lions. Adriana Sanders contributed as she crossed the plate with the other final runs.
The Pirates scored seven in the first inning and then five in the second with the help of Haley Ellis's grand slam. In the top of the fourth, they picked up the other four runs to hold off the Lions to end the contest in just five innings.
Alana Tabel saddled the loss as she fell to 4-4 on the season. Ollivia McLemore powered the Pirates on the mound in four innings of work, and held the Lions to just six hits and struck out two as she secured her ninth win of the year.
In game two, the Lions battled back in a closely pitched contest.
The first four inning were scoreless as both pitchers were battling. Saint Leo was able to total nine hits for the game. They tied the game in the bottom of the fourth inning. To begin the rally, Brittany Ewing led off with a hard single up the middle. Chelsey Steedley was hit-by-pitch and later scored off a two out single by Michelle George that would tie the game. The Lions would battle again in the bottom of the fifth, as Cassie Boggs drilled a double to right center, and Brittany Ewing stroked a single, scoring Boggs from second. Chelsey Steedley followed with hard hit single to left center and scored Ewing, to take a 3-2 lead, and that was all Ashley Ehlers needed for the Lions' victory. Ehlers would hold off the Railsplitters in the last frame, even with a late scare, as Laura Taricano blasted a two out homer off to left field.
Ashley Ehlers earned her fifth win on nightcap and got the Lions back to .500 at 11-11.
The Lions will return to the ball field on Sunday March 9th at 4:15 to take on Francis Marion on the last day of the Saint Leo Invitational.
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