St. Catharine head coach Holly Smith bemoaned the fact that her Patriots should have swept the doubleheader Wednesday against visiting Lindsey Wilson College. But when the Blue Raiders rallied late to win the first game, Smith was unsure how her team would respond in the nightcap.
Smith found that response favorable as the Patriots, losers in the first game 7-4 in eight innings, edged the visitors 5-4 in the second game. The win allowed St. Catharine to gain a slight lead over Cumberlands in the race to stay out of the Mid-South Conference play-in game. The Patriots are now 5-15 in the MSC while Cumberlands is 4-13.
“It was very encouraging to see how we came out in the second game,” said Smith whose team is now 17-27 overall. “We really should have won both games but it was good to get a split against one of the best teams we have played all year.”
Lindsey Wilson, 39-9 overall, fell to second place just percentage points behind Georgetown. All teams are jockeying for better seeds for the conference tournament that begins in two weeks.
The Patriots took a 4-3 lead into the final inning of game one but Andrea Williams tied the game with a solo homer. The Blue Raiders then got a three run homer from Travatia Bowden in the eighth inning to claim the victory. Ashley Cardenas took the loss, allowing 11 hits with five walks and 10 strikeouts.
“She just made a couple bad pitches and they cost us,” said Smith of Cardenas. “But overall we are playing better. Now is the time we need to put everything together.”
In the second game the patriots took a 5-0 lead after two innings and held on for the one-run victory. Kasie Prather homered to start the game and Taylor Steff added a two-run homer later in the inning.
St. Catharine made it 5-0 in the second inning when Prather walked and Hagan Goldey singled and both scored. The Raiders scored once in the third frame and three more in the sixth but starting pitcher Krystal Cammuse made the lead stand up as she retired the side in order in the seventh. Cammuse gave up seven hits while walking three and fanning seven.
The Patriots are back at Edelen-Haydon Field on Thursday for a doubleheader against Mid-Continent University starting at 2:00.