CLEARWATER, Fla. – The 17th-ranked Saint Leo softball team split the day at the National Fastpitch Coaches' Association (NFCA) Leadoff Classic Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex in Clearwater. The Lions fell to Texas A&M-Commerce 3-2 in their first game of the day before defeating Tiffin 9-1 in six innings. It would be Brittany Creamer who hit a walk-off triple to end the game in the bottom of the sixth against Tiffin.
Creamer's triple in the sixth inning against Tiffin ended the game as it pushed the game to eight runs in favor of Saint Leo.
On the day Stephanie Adkins moved to 4-0 on the year after picking up the win against Tiffin where Samantha Tyler suffered the loss to Texas A&M-Commerce. The Lions saw Rachael Heath finish the day on fire from the plate with a .667 batting average (4-for-6) with two runs and two RBI. Heath finished with one double on the day and a .833 slugging percentage.
Ciera Schumaker and Creamer both finished at .500 on the day (2-for-4) from the plate as Creamer scored twice and Schumaker scored once while driving in two runs. Kacie Kelly found herself with a .429 batting average on the day after picking up three hits on seven at-bats with one run scored.
GAME ONE - Texas A&M-Commerce 3, #17 Saint Leo 2 Saint Leo dropped their first game Saturday to Texas A&M-Commerce (TAMUC) 3-2 after a three-run first inning by TAMUC. Samantha Tyler suffered the loss after starting the game to move to 1-1 on the year. Tyler gave up two hits, three runs with two walks in the bottom of the first inning.
Despite trailing by three early, the Lions of Saint Leo scored one run in the second and one in the fourth but couldn't push another across the plate.
Bailey McKenna would score the first run for the Lions after walking and advancing to second on a passed ball to reach scoring position with one out. Rachael Heath would lay down a bunt and reach while McKenna scored on the play with Heath moving to second.
Saint Leo scored again in the fourth on a throwing error by the catcher to allow Heath to come in to score. Heath reached via a single to third base, moved to second as Sommer Pollard was hit by the pitch before Heath stole third.
Alison Mitts came in for Tyler in the first inning as she gave up just three hits in six innings of work. Mitts recorded three strikeouts and hit one batter on 21 batters faced in her appearance.
For the Green and Gold, Rachael Heath went 2-for-3 with one run scored and one RBI and one stolen base.
GAME TWO - #17 Saint Leo 9, Tiffin 1 (6 innings) Saint Leo turned things around after a loss in game one by taking a game away from Tiffin 9-1 in six innings to wrap up the day. The Lions were led by Rachael Heath and Samantha Ohmie who both went 2-for-3 from the plate where Stephanie Adkins moved to 4-0 on the year after the complete game win. Adkins gave up four hits just one run and walked two batters while striking out seven.
The Lions jumped all over the Dragons in the first inning putting up four runs in the bottom half of the inning. An Amanda James double to right center drove in Brittany Creamer and Kacie Kelly. Kelly reached on a fielder's choice pushing Sommer Pollard across the plate for the first run. Ciera Schumaker hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score heath before Creamer reached on a fielder's choice. Two errors in the first inning caused for four runs for the Lions on three hits but left one duck on the pond.
The Dragons got one back in the top of the second, what would end up as their lone run, on a double and a single scoring on throws.
It would be the effort in the top of the fourth that would save a home run from the Dragons. Alyssa Wash would go full speed into the fence and snag the ball on a full extension to save the run.
Saint Leo posted three runs in the bottom of the fifth to make it a 7-1 game in favor of the Lions. James, Wash, and Ohmie would all score in the bottom half of the inning. James came across on a Bailey McKenna sac bunt while Wash scored on an Ohmie single to right field. Ohmie came in on a Heath double to center field.
The Lions tacked on their last run in the bottom of the ninth, ending the game, as Schumaker started it off with a single followed by a Creamer walk-off triple to down the left field line scoring Schumaker.
UP NEXT Saint Leo heads back to Clearwater for one final game at the NFCA Leadoff Classic on Sunday, Feb. 12. The Lions will face No. 12 Saint Mary's (Texas) at 11:30 a.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.