In the opening weekend of the Mid-South Conference softball season, long balls were flying out of Salt River Electric Field as the University of the Cumberlands visited for doubleheaders Friday and Saturday. Unfortunately for Holly Smith’s team, nine of the 15 homers belonged to the visitors who took three of the four games.
The visiting Patriots (11-4, 3-1) won Friday’s opener 11-8 but St. Catharine rebounded to take the nightcap 9-3. Saturday’s twin bill saw Cumberlands win 15-8 in the opener and then 7-5 in game two.
Shelbi Thornhill (Hardinsburg, Ky.) homered twice in Friday’s first game but Cumberlands clubbed four round-trippers to win 11-8. Brittany McKee (Somerset, Ky.) had two of the Patriots’ nine hits to go along with two RBI’s. Thornhill knocked in four for the game.
Thornhill went deep again in Friday’s second game as did Katie Hansgen(Louisville, Ky.) in the 9-3 victory. Thornhill and McKee each had three hits while Hansgen had two. Tiffany Wickline (Georgetown, Ky.) pitched the first six innings to pick up the victory, improving her record to 2-4. McKee pitched a scoreless seventh inning.
Big innings again proved to be St. Catharine’s demise in Saturday’s opener as Cumberlands plated five runs in the fourth inning and seven more in the sixth frame en route to the 15-8 win. All seven runs in the sixth were of the unearned variety as a two-out error by the Patriots opened the floodgates for Cumberlands.
Kolbi Mitchell (Winchester, Ky.) blasted a three run homer and reached base in all four plate appearances. Thornhill, Krystal Cammuse (Frankfort, Ky.) and Carly Benz (Louisville, Ky.) each had two hits.
In the series finale, St. Catharine took a quick 2-0 lead with back to back homers by Benz and Kelsey Gravens (Mt. Washington, Ky.) in the first inning. But Cumberlands sent 11 batters to the plate in the second inning to take a 5-2 lead. A Hansgen solo homer in the fourth cut the lead to 5-3 and a two-run shot by Cammuse tied the game in the fifth inning.
Cumberlands used three singles and a St. Catharine error to score twice in the seventh inning for the final 7-5 win.
The Patriots are back in Mid-South Conference action Tuesday with a doubleheader at Campbellsville University.