FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. – No. 8 Saint Leo dropped their Sunshine State Conference doubleheader to Nova Southeastern 7-4 // 3-2 at the AD Griffin Sports Complex Saturday. The Sharks won the series 2-1, the first series loss for the Lions since April 2016, when they lost to Rollins two games to one.
The two losses prove to be their first back-to-back losses for the Lions since they fell to Rollins in the final game of the 2016 regular season and the first game of the NCAA South Regional.
All three pitchers got action in both games where Alison Mitts was the first in the circle and received a no decision in game one before suffering the loss in game two. Stephanie Adkins came in and worked relief in the first game, and took the loss giving up four runs where she came in to pitch with the bases loaded and one out in game two. Sara Neuman pitched in both games, where she started the second.
Despite falling in both games, the Lions recorded three more hits on the day as a team than the Sharks. The difference maker between the two teams was the total amount of walks, inflating the on-base percentage. Nova Southeastern drew eight walks to the Lions two, making the difference in on-base percentage .418 (Sharks) compared to .322 (Lions).
GAME ONE – Nova Southeastern 7, No. 8 Saint Leo 4 Four runs in the bottom of the sixth haunted the Lions as they could not get an answer in the top of the seventh. Saint Leo scored first pushing one run across in the second inning before the Sharks replied with two in the third and took the lead with one in the fourth.
A one-run fifth inning for the Lions cut the Sharks lead to one run, 3-2, as Michelle George reached on an error to start the inning. George came in to score on a Kacie Kelly single to shortstop to tie the game.
Saint Leo regained the lead with two runs in the top of the sixth, 4-3, where Samantha Ohmie kicked off the top of the inning with a double. Ciera Schumaker moved her over on a sacrifice bunt before coming into score on a Brittany Creamer hit. Olivia Prieto pinch ran for Creamer, where she came in to score on a George single.
The Sharks' Lexie Storrer closed out the Lions in the top of the seventh after walking Bailey McKenna and then getting Kelly to fly into a double-play, to eliminate the threat. Ohmie stepped to the plate and grounded out to end the game.
Ohmie finished the game going 3-4 with one run scored as Schumaker went 1-2 from the plate.
Alison Mitts pitched 3.0 innings giving up four hits, three runs, two walks and recorded one strikeout. Sara Neuman came in for two innings of work and recorded two strikeouts while she walked two batters.
Stephanie Adkins took the loss after pitching one inning and gave up four runs, two earned. With the loss, Adkins moved to 9-2 on the year.
GAME TWO – Nova Southeastern 3, No. 8 Saint Leo 2 A one-out, bases loaded single in the bottom of the seventh allowed the Sharks to walk-off over the Lions to complete the series sweep. A tight contest between the two teams saw the Lions score first in the first inning and again in the third where the Sharks answered with two in the bottom of the third to tie the game.
Kacie Kelly would be the run in the first inning as she singled to right field followed by a Samantha Ohmie single to center field. Ciera Schumaker would reach on an error by the second baseman where Kelly rounded third and came in to score before the Lions were retired with a soft pop up to shortstop.
With two outs in the third, Ohmie was hit by a pitch to give the Lions a runner. Schumaker hit a single up the middle scoring Ohmie from second.
Nova Southeastern scored two in the bottom of the third to tie the game with one swing of the bat from Dana Edmundson. Edmundson hit a two-run homer to left center to tie the game, where both teams would fail to bring in a run before the seventh inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, Saint Leo held off one run as Kelly threw out the lone out of the inning at home. With the bases loaded and a 2-0 count, the Lions brought out Adkins to try to get out of the jam. Adkins worked the count to 3-2 before a single to shallow left center scored the winning run.
Sara Neuman got the nod for game two and went 2.0 innings giving up two runs and walked two batters while striking out two batters. Alison Mitts came in and pitched 4.1 innings allowing two hits and one run where Adkins pitched to one batter and gave up one hit.
UP NEXT Saint Leo travels to Clermont, Fla. to take on Ashland at 1 p.m. and Findlay at 3:30 p.m. on March 7 at the Dot Richardson Games at the National Training Center.
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.