St. Anthony has been the team swinging the hottest bats in the area, and looked to keep it going Monday against Cumberland.
For three innings, they did, taking a 4-3 lead behind two Makayla Walsh homers and another by Jenna Woltman.
Then Cumberland struck back, and a combination of the Pirate offense and St. Anthony pitching injuries snowballed, leading the top-ranked Pirates to a 24-5 victory over 11th-ranked St. Anthony.
The Pirates came into the game 1-1, compared to St. Anthony’s 6-1, and took last week’s off week and focused on coming out stronger and hitting.
“That has been our main focus, they certainly can, we’ve just been slow out of the box this year,” said Cumberland coach Marnie Blade. “We really, really practiced on those pitches we need to turn on and seeing those pitches.”
After St. Anthony took the lead off Katie Poe 2-0 through one-plus inning, Blade turned to Kaylee Carlen. She served up the two homers to Walsh and Woltman back-to-back in the third, but righted the ship from there.
Then she led off the fourth with a home run of her own to tie the game. Walsh gave up two more singles and was done on the mound, giving way to Woltman.
The Pirate offense kept coming, but St. Anthony coach Crystal Tipton said Walsh left due to a quadricep injury and Woltman, who pitched most of last week, didn’t have much left in the tank.
“We’re dealing with some pitching injuries. We had to put Jenna out,” Tipton said. “She’s got a lot of innings on her arm just this last week, pitching three games. She worked her heart out. We just had to tell her to put it in there, and she was pitching straight fastballs.”
Cumberland kept the pressure on from there, scoring eight in the fourth inning, one more in the fifth and 12 in the sixth, capped off by a three-run home run by designated player Jenna McMechan. The inning included four errors and Woltman allowed 10 unearned runs (18 total) in the game.
Carlen stemmed the tide of the St. Anthony offense, even after a rough start with the back-to-back homers.
“She’s really tough. Kaylee is really learning how to control her emotions on the mound and holding it together,” Blade said.
As for St. Anthony, who lost to Cumberland in last year’s sectional final, it was a rough game.
Walsh was 2-for-2 with two solo homers and a walk, Woltman walked twice and hit a solo home run, Maddie Schuette was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Kate Richards was 1-for-2 with two runs.
Tipton said she wasn’t taking anything from the game, saying it was not the effort they bring to the table.
“It wasn’t our game, either way you put it, it wasn’t our game,” she said. “It doesn’t reflect anything about our season right now.”
Poe was 4-for-6 with five RBis and two runs, Audrey Casey was 3-for-5 with a double, two RBIs and four runs, Breanna Booker was 3-for-6 with three RBis and two runs, and McMechan was 3-for-3 with five RBIs, a home run and four runs scored.
St. Anthony falls to 6-2 and plays Wednesday at home against South Central.
Cumberland is now 2-1, and keeps up its tough schedule, facing sixth-ranked Altamont today on the road.
Cumberland 003 81(12) 24 21 0
St. Anthony 112 010 5 8 5
WP - Carlen (5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 K, 4 BB) LP - Walsh (3 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 K, 1 BB)
Cumberland: Thornton (1-5, 3 R, BB); Huddlestun (1-1, 2 R, BB); Casey (3-5, 2B, 2 RBI, 4 R, BB, 1 SB); Poe (4-6, 5 RBI, 2 R); Layton (2-3, 2 R, 3 BB); Booker (3-6, 3 RBI, 2 R); Greger (0-3, RBI, R, BB); Jackson (1-1, RBI, R); Carlen (3-5, HR, 2 RBI, 3 R); McMechan (3-3, HR, 5 RBI, 4 R, 2 BB)
St. Anthony: Gardewine (1-3); Walsh (2-2, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB); Woltman (1-1, HR, RBI, R, 2 BB); Richards (1-2, 2 R, BB); M. Schuette (2-4, RBI); K. Schuette (1-2)