FLORENCE, Ala. | The Tuskegee University softball team saw their season come to a close Friday afternoon, falling to eighth-ranked and fifth-seeded Saint Leo University 5-0 in an elimination contest at the UNA Softball Complex.
Tuskegee (24-31), the three-time defending Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) champion made their third consecutive appearance in the NCAA Division II South 1 Region before being eliminated.
Saint Leo (39-7) scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the second inning after a leadoff double by Ciera Schumaker. She moved to third on a single up the middle by Brittany Creamer and later scored on a Bailey McKenna bunt to give the Lions a 1-0 lead. They extended the lead to 2-0 when Danielle Bottley laid down a safety squeeze to score Creamer with two outs in the inning.
Tuskegee was able to avert disaster in the third when Saint Leo loaded the bases with one out in the inning. The Lions used a one-out single, hit by pitch and a Tuskegee error load the bases. However, Toni Beth Garner was able to work out of the inning when she forced two fly outs to end the inning.
The Lady Golden Tigers were able to get to Saint Leo starter Stephanie Adkins (18-4) in the second inning when Kenyah Smith singled to left and in the third when Jasmine Howard reached on an error. Unfortunately, they were both stranded at first in both innings.
After Saint Leo scored a run in the fifth, Tuskegee threatened in the sixth after back-to-back singles from Haley Plato and Sharde Thomas. The hit by Thomas extended her hitting streak to 14 games, and her consecutive on-base streak to 26 games. Unfortunately, they were stranded after a pair of pop-ups on bunt attempts and a fly out to left.
Garner (4-8) suffered the loss, working a complete game and giving up five runs – all earned – off of seven hits, while striking out one. Three different players picked up hits for Tuskegee on the day off of Adkins.