The St. Catharine Patriots came into Monday’s game knowing that the Cumberland University Bulldogs had one of the best pitching staffs in the conference, led by sub 1.00 ERA pitcher Courtney Maynard. However, Patriots skipper Holly Smith did not fear, for her team was led by conference batting average leader Hagan Goldey and her .511 batting average.
Much to the dismay of the Patriots, Maynard proved to be the victor in game one, compiling ten strikeouts, zero walks, and allowing zero runs over seven innings of play as the Bulldogs (27-12, 9-7) won 8-0 . “She was just really good, it’s going to be very hard to hit her when her stuff is working,” says Holly Smith when asked about Maynard.
Even through the struggle at the plate, the Patriots were able to rally for six of their eight hits in the last three innings of play. “Getting our offense going really carried us into the second game,” says Holly Smith.
Smith is right on, for her Patriots scored four quick runs in the bottom of the first inning in game two led by a two run shot by Chelcie Rein. In fact, the Patriots looked strong until the errors that have plagued them all year came into play during the fourth inning. Krystal Cammuse fired a missile to Taylor Steff, covering first, that was too hot to handle, and eventually led to two unearned runs that would ultimately tie the game at four. Later the Patriots allowed a run to score on a passed ball that ultimately gave the Bulldogs a 6-5 win.
“I’m proud of the way our hitters made the adjustment in the first game and allowed that to transfer to the second game, but the simple mistakes will kill you in the Mid-South Conference. Any Mid-South team can crush you on one mistake,” says Smith. “We have to clean up our play, limit walks, and find a passion for this game. You can’t score four runs early and settle.”
The Patriots (12-16, 4-10) have outscored their opponents 68-33 in the first inning of games during their season this year, but have been outscored 201-176 overall. “We must find effort at every position to have success,” says Smith.