By BOB STRICKLEY
PDT Sports Editor
So much of postseason success depends on peaking at the right time and Shawnee State softball will be using the momentum gained by winning their last seven regular season games.
The Bears put together a 27-9 record in the 2012 regular season and compiled a 16-6 record within the Mid-South Conference.
The conference finish earned Shawnee State the No. 3 seed in the MSC Tournament that beings today. The Bears will face No. 6 St. Catharine in the third game of first round action 1 p.m. today in Danville, Ky.
The Bears’ offense has been fueled by sophomore Kirsti Yates, who has driven in 35 runs over the course of the regular season with a batting average of .331.
Yates, who plays catcher, first base and shortstop, joins Katy Bender, Brytan Givens and Jourdan Priddy as the only Bears that have played in all 36 games this season.
Behind Yates, freshman outfielder Katy Bender has been the most productive player for Shawnee State, driving in 22 runs with a batting average of .345.
The Bears’ pitching leader has been Franklin Furnace product Ali Thompson. The junior has put together a 13-5 record in 19 appearances with a 1.94 earned run average. Her 119 1/3 innings is almost the combined total of the team’s other two pitchers, Allie Chapman and Tara Prater.
Chapman, a freshman, is the reigning MSC Pitcher of the Week and has pitched 65 1/3 innings with a 1.93 earned run average. She has appeared in 12 games and has a record of 6-1.
Prater has pitched 62 2/3 innings in 12 games and has a record of 7-3. The sophomore has a regular season earned run average of 3.02.
Thompson will likely start today’s game against a St. Catharine team that has a balanced offense attack featuring seven players with more than 20 runs batted in.
Sophomore third baseman Taylor Steff leads the Patriots with 36 RBI, while junior shortstop Hagan Goldey has 35 RBI.
St. Catharine’s pitching staff is led by Ashley Cardenas and Krystal Cammuse. Cardenas has pitched 121 1/3 innings for the Patriots with a 5.08 ERA. Cammuse compiled 111 1/3 innings with a 5.16 ERA. Both pitchers earned eight wins during the regular season.
Amber Matteoli pitched the next most innings behind Cardenas and Cammuse with 65 1/3 innings. The senior has an ERA of 3.21 and a record of 6-4.
If Shawnee State wins against St. Catharine, they will face the winner of No. 2 Georgetown and No. 7 UVa-Wise.
If the Bears lose, they will face the loser of Georgetown and UVa.-Wise.
Georgetown finished the season with a 31-13 record while UVa-Wise finished with a 22-30 record.
Bob Strickley may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 203, or firstname.lastname@example.org.