With the temperatures falling, the St. Catharine athletic program has been heating up as postseason tournaments are underway.
Following a tremendous 2013 women’s conference championship, the St. Catharine “Alley Pats” took a winning mindset into the Mid-South Conference Tournament, hosted at Ken Bowl in Louisville, Kentucky. On the first day of competition the Patriots shined as Nicole Denman (Lakemoor, Ill.) and Shawn West (Louisville, Ky.) were leading the individual standings going into their final games. Despite being able to cap off their tremendous runs with a victory, Denman came away with a third place finish on the women’s side, while West fell just short of the title in second place. Unfortunately for the Patriots, the team competition didn’t produce the same results; on the women’s side the Patriots were unable to overcome a powerful onslaught of strikes as they fell to Campbellsville 4-0. In their second contest against the Cumberlands, it looked as if the Lady Patriots would regroup as they took a 3-1 lead, but would fall victim to a Cumberlands hot streak falling 4-3. For the men it took eight games to decide their fate against Bethel as the teams were tied in the decisive seventh game. However, Bethel would come out ahead in the eight to push the Patriots to the secondary bracket. In their next contest with Campbellsville, the Patriots would sputter quickly as they fell 4-0 to the Tigers, giving them an early exit from the tournament.
In softball action, the Lady Patriots kicked off their season against the visiting Indiana University Southeast Grenadiers, who were receiving votes in the national pole. Krystal Cammuse (Frankfort, Ky.) would fan seven batters in her first game while only surrendering four walks on the mound in 2014. However, the Patriots would take the loss in game one as the offense couldn’t overcome the nine Grenadier runs to fall 9-3. Game two showcased two long balls from Brittany McKee (Somerset, Ky.) and Brandi Hood (Bardstown, Ky.), but would produce the same result as the Patriot defense sputtered, causing them to fall 12-7.
At Edelen Haydon Field the baseball “Bat Pats” clipped the wings of the Asbury Eagles in a thrilling 3-1 affair. Starter CJ Gant (Louisville, Ky.) tossed five complete innings, allowing only one run on three hits. Following Gant, the Patriot bullpen would seal the deal as Cody Alvey (Upton, Ky.), Corey Klinger (Rushlyvania, Ohio), and Jake McCoy (Mesa, Ariz.) blanked the Eagles over the final frames. At the plate Alfredo Bohorquez (Venezuela) put the Patriots on the board early when he singled and stole two bases, giving the Patriots an early 1-1 tie. Bohorquez led the Patriots with two hits, a run, and two stolen bases on the day.
On the hardwood Sasha Ruiz-Lopez led a short-handed Lady Patriots squad with 15 points on the road against Bluefield Rams. However, the Lady Patriots would fall to fatigue in the second half of action as they fell to the Rams 70-58. In men’s action, the Patriots would be unable to hold on to a 40-39 halftime advantage as they fell to the Rams of Bluefield 81-76. The men were paced by Raymon Austin (Cleveland, Ohio) with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
The Patriots will continue the quests for Mid-South Conference supremacy as both baseball and softball square off with the University of Pikeville at home on Friday. The first pitch will be thrown at 12 PM for the “Bat Pats” while the softball Patriots will kick things off at 1 PM. The basketball teams will play their final conference contests of the year Saturday on the road at Pikeville at 2 PM. For the women, it will be the last contest of the season and for the men it will be their last opportunity to improve their conference seeding. The women’s bowling team will head to the United States Bowling Congress Sectional Tournament on March 14th in Smyrna, Tennessee.