The St. Catharine College softball season ended with two losses Friday at the Mid-South Conference Tournament played at Millennium Park in Danville. And, according to head coach Holly Smith, those final two setbacks were typical of the entire 2011 season.
“We actually played as well in those two games as we have all year,” said Smith whose Patriots completed the season at 15-28. “But just as it has been all year, we had a couple of mistakes that cost us. But we were competitive.”
The Patriots opened tournament play Friday against the University of Rio Grande, a team that handed them a pair of 10-2 losses in a regular season doubleheader. This time the Patriots led 2-0 entering the fourth inning before the RedStorm (23-19) scored four times en route to a 5-3 win.
Hagan Goldey, who had three of the Patriots’ eight hits in the game, scored the first run when she doubled and scored on a wild pitch in the first inning. Taylor Steff, who had two hits, opened the second inning with a single and scored on a Kasie Prather single.
That 2-0 lead stood until the RedStorm reached Patriot starter Ashley Cardenas for four runs in the fourth, all with two outs. St. Catharine cut the lead to 4-3 in the fifth inning when Goldey tripled and scored on a wild pitch.
Rio Grande added the final run in the sixth inning off reliever Megan Beecham and the Patriot sere retired in order in the seventh inning.
In Friday’s second game the Patriots held the lead twice but saw the University of Virginia-Wise Cavaliers score 3 times in the bottom of the seventh inning to win 7-5.
Goldey homered in the first inning for a 1-0 Patriot advantage. The Cavaliers tied the game 1-1 in the third inning and took a 4-1 lead in the fifth inning off Ashley Hardin who started the game and Beecham who relieved her with one out in the inning.
But in the sixth inning the Patriots rallied for three runs to tie the score and then added one more in the seventh to lead 5-4. Prather homered in the sixth and Chelcie Rein and Ashley Cardenas had run scoring singles. Erika Adwell was hit by a pitch to open the seventh inning and scored the go-ahead run.
But the Cavaliers (22-25) scored three times off Cardenas who pitched the seventh inning in relief of Beecham. The Cavaliers tied the game 5-5 after a walk opened the inning, and after an infield single, Megan Dillon delivered a game winning home run to give UVA-Wise the 7-5 win.
“In both games we had chances but left too many runners on,” said Smith. “Against Rio we left five runners on and all of them were in scoring position.”
But Smith is already looking forward to the 2012 campaign when nearly the entire team will return. “Justin Paddock (who earned All Mid-South Conference honors) is the only senior on the team and we had just one junior (Kasie Prather). It was a disappointing season because we just didn’t play well all year. But we have a good group coming back and some good recruits so