When St. Catharine College softball coach Holly Smith used a pink highlighter to designate new records, the finished pages looked like a large candy cane. The Patriots, who finished with a 25-33 record, shattered 10 team records and set many individual marks.
“This was our best year offensively,” said Smith who completed her eighth season as head coach of the Patriots. “Our record could have been better because we lost six or seven games late by one run. But we had a tough schedule with seven teams that were ranked nationally at one time throughout the season.”
The 25 victories were the second most for a Smith-coached team since the Patriots joined the NAIA in 2009. That initial year, a transition year when they weren’t eligible for NAIA post-season play, the Patriots won the United States Collegiate Athletic Association National Championship while recording a 27-25 record.
There were no championships this season but the Patriots did prove to be a legitimate contender in the Mid-South Conference as they went 2-2 in the conference tournament for a third place finish.
“We led the conference in eight individual categories,” added Smith.
Many of those offensive categories were led by senior centerfielder Kasie Prather. The Lancaster, Ky. native led the conference in batting at .436, in hits with 88 and in at-bats with 202. She set a new team record in hits, at-bats, runs scored (60), stolen bases (24) and doubles (21).
Junior shortstop Hagan Goldey, also from Lancaster, set a new team record with 15 home runs. Prather had 11 which also surpassed the old mark of 10 set in 2009 by Sharonda Mangan. Goldey also broke the old records in runs scored (52) and stolen bases (21).
As for team records, the 2012 squad set 11 new marks. The most impressive of the new records is the 64 home runs hit. That nearly doubled the old record of 33 set in 2009. The Patriots also nearly doubled the old record of 50 stolen bases as this year’s team swiped 90 bags.
“I complained all year about our pitching but in hindsight it wasn’t that bad,” Smith stated. “We set a new record for strikeouts with 312.”
Senior Ashley Cardenas and freshman Krystal Cammuse entered the top five in the record books in four different pitching categories.
Now smith will hit the recruiting trail to replace five seniors including Prather, Cardenas, and Amber Matteoli who hit eight homers to rank fifth for single season round trippers.
“We have a good group returning but we need to fill in some key spots,” concluded Smith.