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The Mid-South Conference softball tournament starts April 25 in Kingsport, Tenn. and Holly Smith is hoping her St. Catharine College Patriots are part of that event. But that won’t be determined until possibly Monday when the Patriots play Campbellsville to conclude the regular season. The top eight teams will make it to the conference tournament.
“We have two games at Cumberland (Tenn.) on Tuesday and two more at UVA-Wise on Saturday and finish at home with Campbellsville on Monday,” said Smith whose team is 9-15 in conference play and 20-24 overall. “Those games are huge in that so much can happen in the standings in this last week.”
The Patriots now are in eighth place in the conference. They can climb to as high as sixth place, but they can also fall to as far as ninth, which would leave them out of the fun in Kingsport.
St. Catharine played eight conference games last week, four of those against Cumberlands (Ky.), who came into that four-game series with just two conference victories. But the teams split those four games. Georgetown then swept St. Catharine in a doubleheader and the Patriots gained a split against Shawnee State.
“You can’t take wins for granted, but we thought we had a good chance of winning all four games against the Cumberlands,” said Smith. “The two losses, especially the one at home, really hurt us in the standings.”
Last week’s games
St. Catharine traveled to Williamsburg on Monday for the first of the four-game set against Cumberlands. After dropping the opener 2-1 in eight innings, the Patriots bounced back to win the nightcap 14-11.
Ashley Hardin pitched six strong innings in the opener before giving way to Krystal Cammuse, who took the loss. The Patriots managed just four hits with four different players collecting one each.
In the second game the Patriots trailed 11-1 after four innings but plated 12 runs in the fifth, their biggest inning of the season, en route to the 14-11 win. Hagan Goldey and Shelbi Thornhill each had three hits and Emily Fenwick and Brandi Hood had two hits apiece. Cammuse (2-6) was the winner in relief of Brittany McKee, who lasted just one inning.
In the return doubleheader played at St. Catharine on Tuesday, Cumberlands took the opener 6-2 after St. Catharine had taken a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Goldey had two of the Patriots’ seven hits.
In the second game Hood and Taylor Steff each had two hits in a 7-3 St. Catharine victory. Hardin went the distance in the circle to improve her record to 9-6. She allowed two earned runs on seven hits and did not have a walk or a strikeout.
On Wednesday, the visiting Georgetown Tigers scored in every inning except the first in winning game one 8-4. Thornhill had three hits for the Patriots and Grace Mills had two. Cammuse (3-9) took the loss, allowing six runs in five innings of work.
In game two Wednesday the Tigers (25-11) broke open a 2-1 game with four runs in the fifth inning for a 6-1 win. St. Catharine had four hits as Goldey and Cammuse had two each.
At home Saturday against Shawnee State, the visiting Bears won game one 7-6 but St. Catharine took the second game 3-2. Goldey, Hood and Steff each had two hits in the opening game loss. McKee homered for the Patriots.
In Saturday’s second game Cammuse allowed the Bears just three hits as St. Catharine won 3-2. Cammuse struck out four and walked two in going the distance. Hood and Chelcie Rein each had two hits in the Patriots’ seven-hit attack.
In non-conference action Sunday the Patriots split a doubleheader at Centre College. They lost the first game 9-1 in six innings and took the second game 10-4.
Full Mid-South Conference standings: http://www.mid-southconference.org/fullStandings/0/7.php