#4 Softball drops heartbreaker in extras to #25 Tampa

#4 Softball drops heartbreaker in extras to #25 Tampa

SAINT LEO, Fla. – A gutsy call by the home plate umpire, on what would've been a walk-off base hit in the bottom of the seventh by Ciera Schumaker, cost the fourth-ranked Saint Leo Lions the game against the 25-ranked Tampa Spartans at University Softball Stadium Wednesday.

The Lions (34-8, 15-4 SSC) fell to the Spartans (25-8, 12-4 SSC) 2-1 in nine innings. The loss snapped their 11 game win streak and was their first loss at home in 2017. 

Saint Leo and Tampa headed to the bottom of the seventh all knotted up at 1-1 with Alyssa Wash due up for the Lions. Wash, took the 3-2 pitch to deep left center for a leadoff triple for the Green and Gold.

An intentional walk to Kacie Kelly and a fielder's choice on Rachael Heath's bunt loaded the bases for Schumaker with one out. Schumaker hit a single to right center and would've scored Olivia Prieto, who pinch ran for Wash, from third but the home plate umpire called the play dead two and a half strides from the win due to bench interference in fair territory. Samantha Ohmie dug into the box with the bases still loaded now with two outs and couldn't get the run in.

In the top of the ninth inning, Elly Pillers put the Spartans on her back once again as she hit her second solo shot of the night to put Tampa ahead 2-1 before Stephanie Adkins retired the side with a line out to center field and a groundout to Kelly at second.

The Lions came up in the bottom of the ninth and left a runner at second as Wash started the inning with a single.

Tampa's Pillers started the game off with a solo homer in the first inning to put the Spartans ahead 1-0 early on in the contest. Saint Leo battled and would leave runners on in the first and second innings before getting the tying run across in the fourth.

Schumaker led off in the fourth with a single to right field before scoring on a Danielle Bottley single up the middle to tie it at 1-1.

A pitchers' duel for the majority of the nine innings saw both pitchers, Stephanie Adkins (19-4) and Makaleigh Dooley (15-5) finish with almost the exact stat line. Adkins finished the night with nine innings pitched, 10 hits and two runs while she fanned six batters. Dooley gave up 11 hits and just one run while striking out six batters as well.

Saint Leo and Tampa face off tomorrow, Thursday, April 13, at 5 p.m. to wrap up their Sunshine State Conference series with a doubleheader.

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.