#8 Softball sweeps ERAU; Kinberger earns 200th win

#8 Softball sweeps ERAU; Kinberger earns 200th win

SAINT LEO, Fla. – No. 8 Saint Leo softball swept the Embry-Riddle Eagles Saturday, Feb. 25 at University Softball Field after a 3-2 walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth in game one by Samantha Ohmie and an 8-3 win in game two for the Lions. The two wins pushed head coach Erin Kinberger to 200 career victories in her sixth season of coaching.

Samantha Ohmie's walk-off home run is the second of the season and was her third home run of the year. Head Coach Erin Kinberger stands at 200-74 in six seasons as a head coach and is 93-23 at Saint Leo.

Saint Leo (15-3) swept their homestand with three wins over Embry-Riddle, taking both ends of the twin bill. The Lions saw Stephanie Adkins move to 8-0 on the year after 3.2 innings of work in game one. Alison Mitts, who started game one and pitched 4.0 innings, returned to the circle for game three and picked up her third win of the year after the complete game in game two.

On the day, Danielle Bottley went 4-for-4 in game two where Kacie Kelly went 4-for-7 and Samantha Ohmie 3-for-6, with two home runs. Six Lions scored Saint Leo's 11 runs of the day with Rachael Heath leading the way with three runs scored and one triple. Brittany Creamer, Ohmie and Bottley each scored twice as Sommer Pollard and Kelly scored one run apiece.

GAME ONE - #8 Saint Leo 3, Embry-Riddle 2 (9 innings)
Samantha Ohmie lifted the Lions over the Eagles with two home runs, which included a walk-off dinger to left field in the bottom of the ninth, in game one of the doubleheader Saturday. In the bottom of the ninth Ohmie had a 1-1 count and took the next pitch over the left field wall to come all the way around.

Saint Leo gave up a run in the top of the first before answering with two runs in the bottom of the first. Ohmie would step to the plate and have lift off as she homered to straightaway center field, scoring Rachael Heath.

The Eagles got one run back in the top of the second, to tie the game at 2-2. Both teams entered a pitching duel and were deadlocked until the bottom of the ninth. Stephanie Adkins came in during the top of the sixth and picked up the win moving to 8-0 on the year. Adkins gave up one hit and one walk while striking out six of her 13 batters faced before mowing down the final three Eagle batters in the top of the ninth with two strikeouts and a fouled pop up to the catcher.

Adkins' six strikeouts put her at 224 for her in her two-year career at Saint Leo.

The win, number 199 for Coach Kinberger as a head coach and 92nd at Saint Leo.

GAME TWO - #8 Saint Leo 8, Embry-Riddle 3
The Lions completed the sweep of the Eagles with an 8-3 win but not before Embry-Riddle put pressure on the eighth-ranked team in the country in the first inning. A very ugly first inning for both squads caused for some sticky situations with six of the games' 11 runs scored in the first inning. The Eagles came out and scored three runs in the top of the first to take a 3-0 lead in a half inning of play.

Saint Leo bounced back and scored three themselves with some heads up base running. Heath laid down a bunt but reached via an error before swiping second base. Pollard laid down a bunt and beat out the throw putting two runners on the corners for Saint Leo. Pollard stole second a pitch before Kelly laid down a bunt as well. On that play, the freshman from Jacksonville and first base coach Maddie Holub saw the play unfold and Kelly went down to second, where Pollard and head coach Erin Kinberger reacted to that throw and scored. Kelly, a freshman, saw the throw home and went for third, sliding in safely. Kelly would come in to score the final run of the inning on a Ciera Schumaker single to second base.

On the exact same situation that happened in the bottom of the first happened again in the bottom of the second as Heath laid down a bunt and a throw off the mark allowed Heath to reach base safely. Heath stole second and third before Kelly singled to center field pushing across the go-ahead run for Saint Leo.

A fielding error in the bottom of the third allowed Bottley and Creamer to come in to put Saint Leo up 6-3.

Saint Leo's final two runs came in the sixth inning as Bottley and Creamer came in to score again. A Creamer double and Bottley single started the inning off before a two-out triple to right center score Bottley and Creamer to make it the eventual final score, 8-3.

The win, number 200 for Coach Kinberger in her coaching career and 93rd at Saint Leo.

Saint Leo heads to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla. to take on No. 4 North Georgia at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 26 in the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic.

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 FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.