Wilmore, Ky. -- At the start of the 2016 season, head softball coach, Holly Smith needed just 12 wins to reach the career milestone of 200 career victories as the head coach at St. Catharine.
Well on Wednesday afternoon in Wilmore, Kentucky, Smith’s team notched their 12th victory of the season to give Smith No. 200 in her career.
Smith – who is in her 12th season with the Patriots – came to St. Catharine in 2005 when the school was a junior college. During the 2009 season – the Patriots first as a four year program – Smith led her team to the USCAA National Championship.
The win on Wednesday afternoon came in the first game of a doubleheader against Asbury (Ky.) where the Patriots (13-7) defeated the Eagles 8-0. St. Catharine made it a sweep when they won the second game 13-4.
Game 1: St. Catharine 8, Asbury 0
In the opener, Tiffany Wickline pitched a gem for the Patriots in the circle. The Georgetown, Ky. native allowed just one hit in her five innings of work to go with her four strikeouts. With the win, Wickline moves to 8-2 overall on the season.
The Patriots got the scoring started with a run in the first inning. Wickline led the inning off with a walk and moved to second on an error. Three batters later, Carly Benz (Brooks, Ky.) drove in Wickline with an RBI single.
After Wickline tossed a 1-2-3 bottom of the first, her offense went to work and added two runs in the second. She helped her own cause with an RBI single, then Emily Fenwick (Lebanon, Ky.) joined in on the fun with an RBI single making the lead 3-0.
Wickline allowed her only hit in the third inning, but her offense kept it going with five runs in the fifth. Caitlyn Blair (LaGrange, Ky.) and Lynsie Clark (Morgantown, Ky.) each ripped a two-run single, while Taylor Lewis (Spring, Texas) hit a triple to score Clark.
The 8-0 cushion was more than enough for Wickline who nailed it down in the fifth. Blair and Clark led the way at the plate with two RBI’s each. Carly Benz added a two hit effort with an RBI, while Wickline, Fenwick and Lewis all collected on RBI each.
Game 2: St. Catharine 13, Asbury 4
The second game lasted the full seven innings, but the result didn’t change as the Patriots won 13-4. Jennifer Ortega (Delano, Calif.) moved to 3-4 on the season after picking up the victory. Ortega tossed 3.1 innings allowing three runs on four hits with four strikeouts.
Lexi Fugate (Bedford, Ind.) entered the game in the fourth and pitched 1.2 innings and allowed just two hits. Casey Grant (Fort Mitchell, Ky.) tossed one inning and allowed one run, while Brittany McKee (Somerset, Ky.) appeared in the seventh and allowed two hits.
Just like the first game, the Patriot offense got going early and often. They scored two runs in the first inning with the first run coming on an error and then McKee drove in the other with an RBI single to make the lead 2-0 after the first inning.
After adding another run in the second inning, the Patriots scored two more in the third inning. Carly Benz drove in the first run, while Jennifer Ortega drove in the other with an RBI single.
St. Catharine continued to add to their lead when they scored three more in the fourth inning. Benz was back at it with a two-run triple that scored the first two. The next batter, Brittany McKee singled scoring Benz.
After the Eagles scored two more in the bottom half of the fourth, but the Patriots responded with two more runs in the sixth inning. St. Catharine added three more runs in the seventh to seal the 13-4 victory.
Taylor Lewis led the way at the dish going 4-for-5 with five runs scored. Benz and McKee each collected three hits and four and three RBI’s, respectively. Kelsey Gravens added three hits, an RBI and a two runs scored, while Lynsie Clark collected two hits and two runs.
Up next: The Patriots will now open Mid-South Conference play this weekend when they travel to Williamsburg to battle Cumberlands (Ky.) in a four-game series. The two teams will play two on Friday and two more on Saturday.