April 5, 2014

Lions Drop Final Two Eckerd Games of Weekend Series to Eckerd

Ewing leads the way for Saint Leo in a losing effort 

SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo University softball team dropped the final two games of a three-game Sunshine State Conference weekend series to Eckerd College on Saturday, 6-3 in game one, and 5-2 in game two. 

The losses drop the Lions to 23-18 on the year and 5-10 in SSC play. Eckerd improves to 22-19, and 8-10 in league action. 

In game one, Saint Leo got on the board first with one run in the top of the first inning when it took advantage of a McKenzie Burns lead-off walk and stolen base. Michelle George would ground out to the shortstop moving Burns over to third base. Adriana Sanders then drove Burns in with a fielder's choice.  

Eckerd came up on the bottom of the first and took the lead right back putting up three runs. The Tritons' Chelsea Jeffares led off the home half of the first inning with a single, followed by an Amber Hay walk. Saint Leo starter Alana Tabel would strike out Kara Oberer, and Kaycie Duncan reached on a fielder's choice. That would set the stage for Sydney Dinelli who then came up to the plate and connected on a three-run homer to put the Tritons on top, 3-1.   

Saint Leo cut the Eckerd lead to one, 3-2, when it put up one run in the top of the third inning on a bases-loaded walk scoring George.

But, like the first inning, the Tritons would retaliate in the bottom half of the frame scoring three runs to put the game out of reach. The three-run inning for Eckerd was highlighted by a solo homerun by Oberer and a two-run shot by Erin Dixson.

The Lions would try to make a comeback in the top of the sixth when Rachel Heath reached first on a bunt, and then moved over to second on a ground out to third by Cassie Boggs. Ewing then drove Heath in on a triple down the right field line, only to be left on base with two consecutive ground outs to end the inning. 

The Lions ended the game leaving two runners on base in the top of the seventh. 

Ewing finished game one going 2-for-3 with a double and a triple, and driving in one run. 

Tabel would be saddled with the loss dropping her record to 3-6 on the year. 

In game two, each team would score a run in the first inning with the Lions getting on the board first when Burns singled to start the game and then stole second. After a George ground out to third base, Sanders flied out to left field scoring Burns.

In the bottom of the inning, Jeffares didn't waste any time in tying things up, connecting on a leadoff home run to even the game at 1-1.

The Tritons, however, opened the game up with a three-run third inning. Brittany Martinez led off the inning with a single to third base, and then Jeffares was hit by a pitch putting runners at first and second. Amber Hay then laid down a sacrifice bunt only to reach on a throwing error, an error that scored both Jeffares and Martinez. Oberer then came to the plate and doubled to right centerfield scoring Hay.

Eckerd would record a run in the fifth inning and the Lions scored in the top of the sixth to make the score 5-2, however Saint Leo could not get any closer. 

Ewing had another solid outing going 2-for-3 with a double and scoring one run. Burns also finished the game going 2-for-3 and scoring one run.

Sarah Steiner would get the loss pitching 2.0 innings, striking out two, giving up three hits and allowing four runs. She would only walk one Eckerd batter. 

The Lions will return home to University Softball Stadium for a weekend series against Lynn University beginning on Friday, April 17 at 7 p.m. Saint Leo will close out the series with Senior Day on Saturday, April 18 with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. 

For more on the Saint Leo University softball team visit SaintLeoLions.com. Also be sure 'Like' the Lions on Facebook and 'Follow' the Lions on Twitter and Instagram.