The St. Catharine softball team enjoyed its best week of the season as Holly Smith’s Patriots won five of six games, including three of four games in the Mid-South Conference. The 5-1 week puts the Patriots at 16-26 overall and 4-14 in the conference.
Smith’s club is now in eighth place in the MSC. They are just 1 ½ games behind seventh place Cumberlands. That puts special significance on the next six games which are all conference contests. Yesterday the Patriots hosted first place Lindsey Wilson and Saturday they travel to third place Georgetown for a twin bill. The conference portion of the schedule concludes next Tuesday at home against Cumberlands.
“Every game is big right now,” said Smith. “The eighth and ninth place teams have a play-in game to qualify for the conference double elimination tournament so we need to sweep Cumberlands to avoid having to play in that game.”
St. Catharine opened last week with two non-conference wins against visiting Asbury. The Patriots won the opener 10-2 and the second game 8-7 with a three run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning. Ashley Cardenas, who recorded three of the five wins last week, went the distance to pick up the victory in the first game.
In game two, pinch runner Kelsey Brooks slid home with the winning run on a ground ball hit by Krystal Cammuse. Cammuse was also the winning pitcher.
Thursday at MSC rival Pikeville, Cardenas shut the Bears out in an 11-0 Patriots’ win in game one. The senior from Santa Ana, Calif. Allowed just two hits, walked one and struck out six in the victory that went just five innings.
Game two was quite a different story as the Patriots turned in the only sub-par performance of the week. St. Catharine pitchers walked 10 batters and hit two while the defense committed three errors in a 10-7 loss.
“We couldn’t find the strike zone the entire game,” said Smith. “And in addition to walks and errors we had six wild pitches and three passed balls.”
But all of that improved Friday with two conference wins at UVA-Wise. Cardenas tossed a shutout in the opener as the Patriots blanked the Cavaliers 3-0. Cardenas gave up three hits, walked two and fanned six.
Cammuse went the distance in the nightcap, a 7-3 victory. Hagan Goldey homered for the Patriots and had two RBI’s. In the six games last week, Goldey, a junior from Lancaster, Ky., batted .579 with three home runs and two doubles.
“Our defense was really good against Wise and we got good pitching in both games,” added Smith. “We need to maintain that effort for the next two weeks.”