Lions Come Back Against Barry But Can’t Hold Lead; Drop Series Opener 9-8

Saint Leo takes a one run lead into the bottom of the seventh but give up two runs 

SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo University softball team kicked off its final series of the regular season on Friday, at Barry University, and dropped game one to the Buccaneers 9-8. The Lions' record drops to 28-20 on the year and 10-12 in Sunshine State Conference play. Barry improves to 26-19 overall on the season. The two teams will close out the series, and the regular season, with a doubleheader on Saturday at 12 noon and 2 p.m. 

Saint Leo got on the board first in the top of the second inning when Angela Kafalas began the frame with a lead-off double to right center field. She would then advance to third on a sacrifice bunt by Torrie Weindorf. Adriana Sanders then came to the plate and walked, and then stole second, which would allow Kafalas to steal home giving the Lions a 1-0 edge. 

Saint Leo would not be able to keep the lead for long as Barry seemingly broke the game open in the bottom half of the second inning. The Buccaneers scored five runs on four hits and took advantage of one of the Lions' two errors on the night.

Saint Leo would fight its way back into the game scoring two runs in the third inning and one run in the fourth, all while holding Barry scoreless during that stretch and allowing only one hit. 

The Lions then broke through in the fifth and took advantage of the Buccaneers' lack of off offense in the previous two innings. Saint Leo would get three runs on three hits during their comeback to regain the lead, 7-5. Sanders would get the first RBI of the inning, to tie the game, when she grounded out to second base moving Victoria Obermeier across home plate. McKenzie Burns then reached on a fielding error scoring Rachael Heath who got on base after a single to center field. After Burns stole second base, Brittany Ewing singled to right field driving Burns in for the final run of the inning.

The Buccaneers came up in the bottom of the fifth inning and finally found their bats. Barry got two of the runs back to tie the contest on two hits. Hunter Mars had the big hit of the inning driving in both runs with a single up the middle. 

After a scoreless sixth inning, the Lions took the lead back in the top of the seventh inning. With one out, Sanders would reach first base by way of a fielder's choice, and then advance to second on a wild pitch. Burns would walk, and then a double steal would put runners on second and third. Ewing then worked a seven-pitch at bat to her advantage getting the walk, bringing up Sarah Steiner. Steiner then took her own seven pitch at bat and forced a third consecutive walk to eventually drive in Sanders. 

Saint Leo, however, could not hold the lead in the home half of the seventh inning. The Lions would get the leadoff batter to fly out to left field. Barry, would then load the bases on a single, a walk and a single in three consecutive at bats. Megan Copeland drew another walk to bring in Cheyanne Head. Kelly Martinez then came to bat and reached on an error to third base bringing in the game winning run. 

Sanders finished the game going 2-for-4 with one RBI, a run scored and a walk, and Kafalas was 2-for-4 with a RBI, one run scored and a double in the loss.

Jaclyn Amato picked up her first loss of the season (0-1) going two innings and giving up two runs on two hits. She walked three and struck out one batter. 

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.