March 10, 2014

Lions close out Invitational in thrilling fashion with a 6-5 Victory!

Saint Leo, Fla. – The Saint Leo softball team (13-11) collected a pair of wins on the final day of the Saint Leo Invitational, Sunday evening from University Softball Stadium.  The Lions upended Francis Marion in the opener 4-2, before eclipsing Palm Beach Atlantic 6-5 in the nightcap. 

The Lions junior McKenzie Burns ties the Saint Leo record for most stolen bases in a career, and sophomore Danielle Ferrara hits her first career Home Run as a Lion.

The Lions jumped on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second, as senior Chelsey Steedley was hit-by-a pitch and then stole second base.  In just her fifth game of the season, sophomore Danielle Ferrara started at first base and did not waste any time making a contribution, smashing a two out RBI single to center field scoring Steedley.  While freshmen Michelle George and McKenzie Burns both hit for singles, junior Adriana Sanders came to the plate with bases loaded and drills a single to left field scoring both George and sophomore Jessica LoBianco (pitch runner for Ferrara) collecting two RBI's.

Later in the sixth, Ferrara's blasts her first career home run as a Lion over the right field fence.  This would prove to be all the Lions would need to secure a 4-2 victory!

Senior Sara Steiner saddled the win for the Green and Gold as she worked five innings and allowed only three hits and one earned run while striking out two on the day improving her recorded to 6-5.  Junior Ashley Ehlers recorded her first save on the season in the Lions victory.

In game two, the last of the Saint Leo Invitational, the Lions found themselves down quickly 1-0 going into the bottom of the first inning. 

However, they would witness history in the making.  Junior McKenzie Burns the Lions lead-off batter would start the bottom of the first with a walk.  On Adriana Sanders at bat, Burns would steal second base.  She would tie the Saint Leo Softball all-time career stolen base record, set by Denyve Duncan, at 87! 

The Lions would reclaim the lead in the bottom of the second inning as a series of hits started by senior Brittany Ewing as she doubled down the right field line, followed by Michelle George, freshmen Rachel Heath and McKenzie Burns all hitting for singles.  Ewing, Heath, and Burns would all score giving the Lions a 3-1 lead going into the third inning.  

In the bottom of the fourth, Sander would single to the Short-stop, and Chelsely Steedley would crush her first of the year, two run homer over the left field fence giving the Lions a 5-1 lead. 

The Sailfish of Palm Beach Atlantic would start a rally in the top of the fifth scoring four runs off of four hits including a home run tying the score at 5-5. 

In the bottom of seventh and all tied at 5-5, Rachel Heath with a 0-1 count would draw a walk. Heath would steal second base as Burns is at the plate and advance to third on a wild pitch.  With one out and Heath at third, Burns reaches first on a fielder choice, that allows Heaths speed to make a play at the plate.  A throwing error from the first baseman and a head first slide, Heath slides across the plate for the game winning run, giving the Lions a 6-5 victory.

Sara Steiner (7-5) finished the final two inning in the circle for the Lions getting the win, as the Lions would secure a 3-1 record for the weekend at home in their Saint Leo Invitational. 

Next up for the Lions will be Mercy College on March 11th in doubleheader action at University Softball Stadium.  Game ones first pitch will be at 5:00 p.m. followed by game two at 7:00 p.m.

For the latest news, updates, and information on the Saint Leo softball team, be sure to visit SaintLeoLions.com.  Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Lions news by following Saint Leo Athletics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.