St. Catharine, Ky. -- The Patriot softball team wrapped up their regular season slate today when they swept Shawnee State (Ohio) in a doubleheader at Salt River Electric Field.
The Patriots (24-28, 10-18 MSC) took the first game of the twinbill by a score of 10-3. Then in the second game, Brittany McKee (Somerset, Ky.) hit a walk-off two-run home run inning to give her team a 12-10 victory and the sweep over the Bears (11-29, 4-20 MSC).
It was an emotional day for the six seniors, Caitlyn Blair (LaGrange, Ky.), Kelsey Givens (Richmond, Ky.), Emily Fenwick (Lebanon, Ky.), Meghan Wolford (Louisville, Ky.), Allyson Rowland (Harrodsburg, Ky.) and Brittany McKee as they played in their final home game.
Game 1: St. Catharine 10, Shawnee State 3
In the opener, St. Catharine scored six runs in the fourth inning to seal the 10-3 win. Tiffany Wickline (Georgetown, Ky.) pitched well for the Patriots in the circle. Wickline (12-11) struck out five in six innings allowing three runs on six hits.
Casey Grant (Fort Mitchell, Ky.) followed Wickline and pitched the seventh inning. She allowed a leadoff single, but ended the game with back-to-back strikeouts to secure the win.
The Bears struck first with a run in the first, but the Patriots took the lead with two in the bottom half. Miranda Whelan (Ramsey, Ind.) ripped a double to the right field corner scoring the first run. Whelan then came around to score a pitch in the dirt by the Bears’ pitcher.
Shawnee State answered with two of their own in the third, but once again the Patriots responded with a run in the bottom half to tie the game at 3-3. Once again it was Miranda Whelan who singled scoring Emily Fenwick, who reached on an error earlier in the inning.
St. Catharine took control of the game with six runs in the fourth. Katie Hansgen (Louisville, Ky.) blasted a two-run home run and Carly Benz (Brooks, Ky.) hit a three-run bomb in the inning, while Whelan pushed the other run across with an RBI single.
The Patriots added one more run in the sixth inning when once again Miranda Whelan drove in her fourth run of the game on her fourth hit of the game to make the score 10-3. They had the chance to end the game with one more run, but the Bears got out of the jam.
Whelan led the way going 4-for-4 with four RBI’s and two runs scored. Carly Benz added a 3-for-4 day with three RBI’s and a run. Taylor Lewis and Emily Fenwick each added two hits and scored twice, while Katie Hansgen added two RBI’s and also scored a run.
Game 2: St. Catharine 12, Shawnee State 10
In danger of getting run-ruled after trailing 10-2 heading to the fifth inning, the Patriots outscored the Bears 10-0 in the final 3.5 innings to grab the 12-10 win. Brittany McKee ended her final home game with a walk-off two-run bomb in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Jennifer Ortega (Delano, Calif.) was the beneficiary of the comeback win as she picked up the win in the circle. Ortega (6-12) allowed three runs – one earned – on two hits in four innings of work.
Meghan Wolford started the game and pitched 1.2 innings. She allowed four runs on four hits. Brittany McKee then tossed 2.1 innings and allowed three runs – one earned – on three hits.
St. Catharine got on the board first with two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Emily Fenwick led it off with a single and scored when Kelsey Gravens (Mt. Washington, Ky.) ripped a double. Gravens then came around to score when Caitlyn Blair singled to make the score 2-0.
Shawnee State then responded by scoring four in the second, one in the third, two in the fourth and three in the fifth to take a 10-2 lead heading to the bottom of the fifth. In the home half of the fifth, the Patriots began to chip away at the deficit with three runs.
Back-to-back errors by the Bears and a single loaded the bases with none out. Carly Benz grounded out scoring the first run, then, Caitlyn Blair singled to score the second run. The next batter, Brittany McKee doubled to push the final run across to cut the lead in half at 10-5.
The Patriots continued to chip away with another run in the sixth inning. Katie Hansgen led the inning off with a single and three batters later, Kelsey Gravens singled to score Hansgen and make the score 10-6.
St. Catharine completed the comeback when they scored four runs in the seventh to tie the game up at 10-10. Carly Benz started the rally with a double and Tiffany Wickline followed suite with a single to put runners at first and third with none out.
Brittany McKee roped a double to score Benz and move Wickline to third. Katie Hansgen ripped a single to score Wickline and an error allowed McKee to score and Hansgen to move to second. Hansgen scored when Holly Smith put on the double steal sign to tie the game.
The game would move to extras after being tied at 10-10 after seven innings. In the bottom of the eighth, with two out and a runner on first, Brittany McKee stepped to the plate and blasted an 0-1 pitch over the right field fence for a walk-off two-run home run.
McKee led the way going 3-for-5 with four RBI’s and two runs scored. Kelsey Gravens and Caitlyn Blair added two hits and two RBI’s, while Gravens scored twice. Katie Hansgen and Carly Benz both drove in one run, while Hansgen scored twice and Benz tallied two runs scored.