FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ST. CATHARINE COLLEGE SPORTS INFORMATION Thursday, April 30, 2015
PATRIOTS GO 2-0 ON OPENING DAY OF MSC TOURNAMENT
The Mid-South Conference Softball Tournament got under way today at Michael O. Buchanon Park in Bowling Green, Ky. The Patriots (19-25) hung on for 6-5 victory in their first game against Pikeville (Ky.). Then, in the second game they upset top-seeded Campbellsville (Ky.) 1-0. The Tigers were the Mid-South Conference regular season champs and entered the tournament ranked No. 7 in the latest polls.
After posting a 2-0 record on the opening day of the tournament, the Patriots move to the finals of the winner’s bracket against second-seeded Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) on Friday, May 1st at 5 p.m. ET.
The Patriots jumped on UPIKE starter, Lauren Barnes, early in the opening inning with two runs.
Tiffany Wickline (Georgetown, Ky.) reached base on an error and later moved to second on a wild pitch. Kelsey Gravens (Mt. Washington, Ky.) then reached base on a dropped third strike in the dirt that put runners on the corners. Carly Benz (Louisville, Ky.) was able to leg out an infield single, but Gravens was called out on interference. A passed ball by the Bears’ catcher scored Wickline and moved Benz to third – after she stole second. After Shelbi Thornhill (Hardinsburg, Ky.) reached on a walk, the Patriots pulled off the double steal to perfection to score Benz. Barnes got out of the inning with a strikeout.
The Patriots struck again in the top half of the third with two more runs. After two quick outs the Patriot bats got it going. Thornhill reached base on an error then, Krystal Cammuse singled to put runners on the corners. Brittany McKee (Somerset, Ky.) then reached on another Bears’ error that scored Thornhill from third. The error allowed Cammuse and McKee to advance into scoring position. Christina Day (Paducah, Ky.) drove in Cammuse from third with a base knock, but ended the inning after she was caught stretching at second base.
The Patriots picked up two more important runs in the top of the seventh. Kelsey Gravens led off the inning with a single to straight-away center. Two batters later, Shelbi Thornhill jacked a two-run homerun to left to put the Patriots up 6-0 heading into the home half of the seventh.
The Bears (19-18) made it interesting in the seventh inning with five runs on three hits, but Tiffany Wickline was able to get a ground out to end the game.
Krystal Cammuse (8-13) picked up the win for the Patriots going four innings, allowing two hits and striking out nine. Brittany McKee came on in relief in the fifth and allowed three runs on a pair of hits. Wickline entered the game with the bases loaded in the seventh and allowed two runs on one hit. She recorded her second save of the season.
After hanging on for a 6-5 win against Pikeville, the Patriots moved to take on top-seeded Campbellsville in the second round. The game turned out to be a pitchers’ duel as both brought their “A” game.
Senior starter, Krystal Cammuse, was stellar the Patriots. Cammuse (9-13) pulled out all the stops, pitching seven shutout innings en route to the upset of over the #7 Tigers (32-7). She surrendered just one hit and didn’t allow a base runner to reach third base.
Her counterpart, Victoria Decker, was also stellar for the Tigers. Decker – who was named Mid-South Conference Pitcher of the Year – suffered just her third loss in 20 decisions. She allowed just one run on three hits in her seven innings of work.
The Patriot bats came through with a run on three hits in the top half of the fifth. Shelbi Thornhill led off the inning with a hit by pitch. Back-to-back singles by Cammuse and McKee loaded the bases. It looked as though Decker was going to get out of the jam after a strikeout and a pop out, but Brandi Hood (Bardstown, Ky.) came through with a base knock to score Thornhill from third. Decker was able to get out of the inning with just one run.
The one run proved to be more than enough for Cammuse. Cammuse was able to work her way out of trouble throughout the game.
In the bottom half of the third, Cammuse allowed a leadoff walk then, a sacrifice bunt moved the runner to second. That would be as far as the runner would move as Cammuse got out of the inning with a line out and strikeout. Cammuse allowed a pair of walks in the fourth, but was able to get out of it with a fly out.
The final threat from the Tigers came in the sixth. Cammuse allowed a one-out single. A ground out advanced the runner into scoring position, but Cammuse stood tall recording a strikeout to end the inning. She came back out in the seventh and recorded a perfect seventh to seat the 1-0 victory.