CLEARWATER, Fla. – The 17th-ranked Saint Leo softball team opened up play at the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Leadoff Classic with two wins Friday night by a combined 14-7. The Lions defeated Central Missouri 7-5 in the first game of the day before taking down Georgia College 7-2 in game two of the evening at the Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex.
Saint Leo improves to 7-1 overall after the two victories Friday night. Sara Neuman earned her second win in the circle for the Green and Gold after going six complete innings. Neuman gave up nine hits, five runs, walked one batter and struck out seven. The Lions recorded three errors in the game which allowed three of Neuman's runs to be unearned. She stands at a season ERA of 0.93.
Stephanie Adkins picked up win number three in the circle after a seven inning complete game appearance against Georgia College. Adkins struck out 14 batters while giving up one double, six hits and two unearned runs.
Bailey McKenna played one game on the night and went 2-for-3 from the dish for a .667 batting average with two runs scored, two RBI, one home run and five total bases swiped. Ciera Schumaker and Brittany Creamer both went 4-for-7 for a .571 batting average with one double. Schumaker finished the day with two triples, two runs scored and four RBI where Creamer finished with three RBI.
GAME ONE - #17 Saint Leo 7, Central Missouri 5 In a tight contest between the Lions and Jennies, Saint Leo came out on top 7-5 for their sixth win of the year after posting two runs in the bottom of the fifth and an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth. Sara Neuman got the nod and the win in the first game of the weekend after throwing six innings, giving up nine hits, five runs, two earned, and one walk while striking out seven batters.
The Lions jumped on the board first with two runs in the bottom of the first before the Jennies replied with two in the top of the second. Saint Leo came right back and took the 4-2 lead after two runs in the bottom of the third. Central Missouri tied the game with two runs in the top of the fourth before taking a one-run lead, 5-4, in the top of the fifth.
Saint Leo regained the lead with back-to-back-to-back doubles by the Lions' four-five-six hitters to plate two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Sarah Pauscher started it off with a double to left field, Ciera Schumaker followed that up with a double before Brittany Creamer doubled to left center.
Alison Mitts came in for relief in the top of the seventh and shut down the Jennies with three strikeouts. Mitts picked up her first save of the year.
Creamer finished the game 3-for-3 from the plate with two RBI. Kacie Kelly went 2-for-4 with one run scored and two RBI.
GAME TWO - #17 Saint Leo 7, Georgia College 2 Saint Leo and Georgia College would go scoreless for the first two innings before the Lions blew it open with a five-spot in the top of the third. Stephanie Adkins got the start in game two of the day and earned the win moving to 3-0 on the year. Adkins went the distance for the third straight appearance pitching seven innings, allowing six hits, two runs, walking three and striking out 14 of the 31 batters faced.
The Lions used a five-run third to jump on Georgia College. Alyssa Wash walked to start the inning before advancing to second on a wild pitch. Bailey McKenna stepped up and blasted a two-run homer scoring herself and Wash. It would be a Ciera Schumaker triple that scored the eventual game-winning run in Kacie Kelly. Kelly reached on a fielder's choice before advancing to third on a Samantha Ohmie hit, allowing Ohmie to reach on a throwing error. Kelly and Ohmie came across the plate after Schumaker's triple. Creamer stepped up and delivered a single that would score Schumaker from third ending the scoring in the third.
Saint Leo tacked on another in the fifth as Kelly doubled followed by another Schumaker triple pushing Kelly across the plate.
Georgia College would get two back in the bottom of the fifth before the Lions added another in the top of the sixth. Back-to-back singles from McKenna and Rachael Heath would allow Sommer Pollard to step to the plate and single scoring McKenna for the final run of the game.
Schumaker finished the game 3-for-3 with one run scored and three RBI with two triples. McKenna went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBI.
UP NEXT Saint Leo returns to Clearwater for day two of the NFCA Leadoff Classic on Saturday, Feb. 11, as they look to tango with Texas A&M-Commerce at 3 p.m. while facing Tiffin at 5:30 p.m. at the Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex.
For more information on the Saint Leo softball program, 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.