The Shawnee State Bears (18-14, 12-8) came into the weekend holding 3rd place in the Mid-South Conference, making it a huge series for the St. Catharine Lady Patriots (19-23, 9-15) who were clinging to 8th place. If the Patriots could somehow get a win from the Bears it had the possibility of helping them to secure a Mid-South Conference Tournament position.
The first game did not produce the desired result as the Patriots lost 7-6, even with a strong pitching appearance by Ashley Hardin (9-7). Ashley surrendered five earned runs, while only walking two in her 4.1 innings pitched. “On paper she gave up five, but in reality only three should be earned due to defensive mistakes,” says Holly Smith. What should have been a routine fly ball, fell between the left and center fielders during the fourth inning allowing 2 runs to cross the plate. Unfortunately for Ashley, since neither player touched it, they go down as earned runs. “When Ashley is on the mound we have to play solid defense. She is not going to blow anybody away, but she is going to give our defense a chance to keep us in the game,” says Smith. Currently, Hardin ranks 19th in the conference in earned run average and has been the earned run average leader for the Patriots all season. “Ashley has been consistent and always gives us a chance to win; we have to make plays and limit her pitches,” says Smith.
In game two, it was the Krystal Cammuse show. Cammuse (4-9) put on a clinic, surrendering two earned runs, three hits, two walks, while striking out four to give the Patriots the 3-2 victory. “This was definitely the best game for Krystal since she has been back,” says Smith. The Patriots fell behind 1-0 after the first inning, but were able to capture the momentum after taking the lead 2-1 in the bottom of the second inning. The Patriots never looked back as first basemen Shelbi Thornhill lead the team with six putouts and gave the Patriots the big victory. “We were hoping the win would propel us into a better position, but with Rio Grande’s win over Campbellsville it did nothing for us in the standings. However, you can’t take away the confidence that comes with a tough win,” says Smith.
The Patriots continue the quest to compete with the elite in the Mid-South Tuesday at 2 PM, as they travel to Cumberland University (30-13, 12-8). The Patriots look to avenge earlier losses to the Bulldogs in order to solidify the tournament chances.