St. Leo notebook: Women's tennis team to host regional matches
ST. LEO -
The seventh-ranked Saint Leo women's tennis team earned the right to host first and second-round matches in the NCAA Division II South Regional.
The Lions, seeded second in the eight-team regional field, will face No. 7-seed Florida Southern on Monday at 9 a.m.
The winner will face the winner of the 12:30 p.m. match Monday between third-seeded West Florida and No. 6 seed Valdosta State on Tuesday.
Barry is the top seed in the region and is hosting two matches as well. The Lions lost twice to the Bucs this season: 5-1 in the Sunshine State Conference Tournament final last Saturday, and 9-0 in the regular season.
The NCAA Nationals run from May 5-11 and take place in Surprise, Ariz.
Men also advance The men's tennis team qualified for the NCAA tournament as well. It will travel to Miami Shores as the No. 4 seed to face Rollins on Sunday.
Last week, the Lions fell to Rollins 5-4 in the SSC Tournament consolation match for third place.
The winner advances to Monday's championship and will face either top-seeded Barry or the winner of the first-round match between No. 8 Stillman and No. 9 Alabama-Huntsville.
Climbing the rankings The softball team (38-14, 18-4 SSC) debuted in the national rankings last week at No. 25, and is now at No. 22 after a three-game sweep of Lynn last weekend.
The Lions also added to their lead on Tampa in the SSC standings, now two games ahead of the Spartans. In the regional rankings, which determine seedings for the NCAA Tournament, Saint Leo is fifth in the South Region, behind fourth-rated Tampa and top-ranked North Alabama.
Saint Leo is currently in the midst of their final series of the regular season at Florida Southern and won the opener 5-1 in 11 innings. Sarah Steiner (7-1) pitched six innings of two-hit ball in relief of Alana Tabel, and picked up the win. Brittany Ewing was 2-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI.
The Lions had a doubleheader against Florida Southern on Friday that was not complete at press time.
Finally ranked The baseball team (29-13-1, 9-8-1 SSC) has risen into the NCAA South Region rankings at No. 8, but must finish strong to make the regional field. The Lions have seven games remaining, including this weekend's three-game set at home against Lynn. The Knights are currently seventh in the rankings.
Correspondent Bart O'Connell can be reached at email@example.com. He can be followed on Twitter @BartOTrib