This was how it was supposed to be all season for the Saint Leo softball team: Ashley Urbanik dominating on the mound, Tatiana Casis providing the offensive spark.
Unfortunately for the Lions, who won't be back to the NCAA regionals, Sunday's 1-0 win against Florida Tech finally came in the college finale for both players, long after too many losses shortened their season.
Urbanik (19-20) threw a five-hit shutout. It was her sixth shutout this year after 14 in 2008. Casis hit her 17th home run of the season in the fourth, giving her 31 for her career.
Another bright spot Sunday came from junior Tiffinee Harvey, who likely will be expected to carry a larger offensive load next year without Casis. She broke a single-season school record with her 21st double in the first inning.
Saint Leo (30-25, 9-15 Sunshine State Conference) finished sixth in the SSC. While the win marked the sixth consecutive year the Lions won at least 30 games, it was a disappointing season for a squad that felt it was ready to contend for not only an SSC title, but also the NCAA II South Region crown.
AWARDS SEASON: Saint Leo handed out its annual athletic awards at an on-campus banquet Monday, with men's soccer player Eusebio Montoya and volleyball player Michelle Nogueras earning male and female Athlete of the Year honors.
The women's scholar-athlete of the year was softball's Ally Maddox, while the men's honor went to lacrosse star Ryu Arakawa. Team of the year was the women's soccer team, which advanced to the SSC Tournament final, while lacrosse's Brad Jorgensen was named Coach of the Year.
MANGEN DIVES IN: Former Division I Wright State assistant Paul Mangen was named the new Saint Leo swimming coach Friday.
"Paul's ability to articulate a vision for our program is what separated him from the others," Lions athletic director Fran Reidy said in a release. "We are excited to have someone with such a strong background to lead our program."
Born in Ohio, Mangen was an All-American at Wheeling Jesuit University, a small Catholic school in Wheeling, W. Va., where he graduated in 2003. Mangen then entered the coaching ranks, where he served as head coach at West Virginia Wesleyan before taking the Wright State job. He becomes the second coach in four years of swimming at Saint Leo.
STILL TEEING UP: Saint Leo qualified two players - Cole Cisbani and Mark McGuire - into this weekend's NCAA Super Regional Men's Golf Tournament, being played on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama.
Cisbani and McGuire are among 80 teams and 32 individuals competing in the four-day event starting Sunday.
The four regional tournaments encompass the current eight regions. The top five teams and the top two individuals not with a team from each regional (regardless of region) will advance to the finals May 19-22 at Loomis Trail Golf Club in Blaine, Wash.
Correspondent Bart O'Connell
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