St. Catharine, Ky. -- The Patriot softball team began their final Mid-South Conference series of the 2016 campaign on Friday when they hosted Shawnee State (Oho) for the opening doubleheader of the four-game series.
The Patriots (22-28, 8-18 MSC) got a 2-1 victory in the first game, but the Bears (11-27, 4-18 MSC) secured the split with an 8-0 win in game two. The two teams will return to action tomorrow beginning at 12 p.m. ET. St. Catharine will also honor six seniors for Senior Day.
Game 1: St. Catharine 2, Shawnee State 1
Tiffany Wickline (Georgetown, Ky.) blasted a two-run home run in the fourth inning giving the Patriots the 2-1 lead. The duo of Wickline and Brittany McKee (Somerset, Ky.) closed the game out in the circle.
Wickline (11-11) picked up the win for the Patriots after tossing six innings allowing one run on two hits. Wickline also fanned four Bears in her work on the rubber. Brittany McKee picked up her first save of the season after pitching a scoreless seventh inning.
Wickline took a no hitter into the third inning, but allowed a two-out double in the third. In that inning, the Bears loaded the bases before Wickline forced home a run with one of her two free passes. With the bases still loaded, Wickline worked her way out of the jam with a lineout.
As for the Patriots, it took a little while for the offense to wake up. St. Catharine didn’t record their first hit until the fourth inning when Miranda Whelan (Ramsey, Ind.) led off the bottom of the fourth with a double.
After Whelan led off the frame with her double, Carly Benz (Brooks, Ky.) hit into a lineout that forced Whelan to stay put at second. The next batter, Tiffany Wickline, hit a line drive that barely cleared the left field fence for a two-run home run.
After getting a scoreless sixth, Shawnee State made things interesting in the seventh with Brittany McKee in the circle. McKee allowed runners to advance to second and third with one out, but buckled down and got a strikeout and a ground out to end the game and seal the 2-1 win.
Game 2: St. Catharine 0, Shawnee State 8
The second game of the twinbill didn’t go as well for the home team. The Patriots tallied just two hits as Shawnee State secured the split with the 8-0 win in five innings. Jennifer Ortega (Delano, Calif.) took the loss after allowing five runs on four hits in 4.2 innings of work.
Shawnee State struck first in fourth inning, but they broke through in the fifth inning with seven runs on seven hits. In that seven run fifth, the Patriots brought four different pitchers to try and close out the inning.
Jennifer Ortega started the inning and recorded two outs before allowing four runs. Lexi Fugate (Bedford, Ind.) followed Ortega and failed to record an out allowing three runs on three straights hits including a two-run home run.
Meghan Wolford (Louisville, Ky.) followed Fugate and also failed to record the final out. Wolford allowed two hits and a run that was charged to Fugate. Casey Grant (Fort Mitchell, Ky.) finally brought the inning to an end with a 6-3 ground out.
As for the Patriot offense, they recorded just two hits in the loss. Miranda Whelan had the first one in the first inning and Jennifer Ortega tallied the other base knock in the third. The Patriots had a runner advance to third in the fifth, but the Bears got a lineout to end the game.