Softball Patriots sweep doubleheader as Smith ties coaching mark

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By The Staff

SCC Sports Information

One thing is certain. If St. Catharine College softball coach Holly Smith doesn’t set a new personal record for single-season victories this year, it is going to be a sad month of April. That is because with about 24 games to play, the Patriots have already equaled the 18-victory mark set last year when Smith enjoyed her best season.

The Patriots improved to 18-12 this season with a doubleheader sweep Thursday at Berea College. St. Catharine won game one 4-3 and routed the Mountaineers 12-2 in the nightcap. Smith, with eight starters back from last year’s 18-15 team, knew this season could be even better.

“In the pre-season I thought we would be OK,” said Smith, who is in her fifth year as head coach. “But right now, I couldn’t be happier. And to make it even better, I have all of these players back again next year.”

At Berea, the Patriots fell behind 3-0 in the first game after just one inning. But they tied the game in the second, the big blow coming on a two-run double by Kasie Prather. What turned out to be the winning run came in the fourth inning when Prather singled home Emily Bucklew for a 4-3 lead. Prather had two hits and three RBIs for the game.

After the tough first inning, Patriots’ starter Amber Matteoli settled down to pitch shutout ball the remainder of the game. She finished with 11 strikeouts while allowing six hits.

In the second game the Patriots scored 10 runs in their final three at-bats to win 12-2 in six innings. Jackie Schuler, a freshman outfielder from Presentation Academy, had a huge game with four hits and seven RBIs. Schuler had two singles, a double and a triple.

That was plenty of offense for starting pitcher Shay Mangan, who allowed two runs on four hits in five innings. Katelin Mulloy allowed one hit in an inning of relief.

Emily Bucklew chipped in with three hits in the lopsided decision, while Mary Kate Hayes and Megan Cheuvront had two hits apiece.

Coach Smith will have plenty of opportunities in the next week to add to her team’s victory total. The Patriots will play five doubleheaders in as many days. Eight of those 10 games will be conference games as the Patriots look to improve on their 4-2 conference record that currently has them in third place in the Mid-South Conference.

After a home doubleheader Thursday against Lindsey Wilson, the Patriots are on the road at Cumberlands on Friday, Campbellsville on Sunday and Lindsey Wilson on Monday. The only non-conference games will be Saturday in Owensboro where the Patriots will play Brescia.