INDIANAPOLIS – Paced by a first inning solo home run by Kassidi Cadle and Breena Smith‘s 10 strikeouts, the Marian softball team pulled out a 1-0 win over Spring Arbor. Marian improves to 48-0 on the season with the win and advances in the winner’s bracket of the league tournament.
Spring Arbor gave Marian fight from the game’s openings at-bat, as they got the early advantage on Breena Smith. The Cougars were able to load the bases on a bunt single, walk, and single to center to pose an early threat. Smith shook off the damage and responded in a big way, picking up three straight strikeouts as she retired the side to get out of the jam. Kassidi Cadle immediately provided insurance for her pitcher and gave Marian its first run of the day, launching a solo home run to dead center to give the Knights a 1-0 lead after the first.
Smith settled in after her rocky start in the first, and retired four consecutive batters herself riding string of seven straight strikeouts. The streak of punchouts was broken up by Chloe Gignac, who made contact but grounded out to third. Smith capped the third inning with a second ground ball out, keeping the shutout going. Spring Arbor had chances to try and take the lead in the fourth and fifth innings, getting a runner on base with a single and hit by pitch, but the Knights’ defense stranded the runners.
While Smith continued to deal in the circle, the offense turned stagnat after the first inning as Marian failed to bring home a run over the game’s next three innings. A Mary Crumlin double was stranded at third in the second inning, while a Cadle single in the third ended with her standing on first base. Marian had a good shot to bring home a run in the fourth as Maddie Bombei recorded a one-out single and stole second, but a Sidney Gerkin single was unable to bring in a run as Bombei was thrown out at the plate. Marian was again held scoreless in the fifth and sixth innings going down in order in both frames.
The Marian defense was held responsible to seal the win, as they finished the morning going six-for-six in the getting the remaining outs. Smith used the help of her defense in the sixth getting a fly out to right and a diving catch from Cadle at second to end the sixth inning. The senior pitcher did it herself in the final inning, striking out two of the three batters that stepped into the box as Marian polished off the 1-0 shutout.
Smith threw a complete game three-hit shutout, striking out 10 batters while issuing one walk and one hit by pitch. Smith threw her 70th complete game in the win, tying the Marian career record. Cadle was 2-3 at the plate with a single and solo home run, which was the difference in the game. Four other players had a base hit in the win, with Crumlin’s double going for the game’s only other extra base hit.
The Knights will advance in the winner’s bracket and will play on Thursday afternoon against the winner of Mt. Vernon Nazarene and St. Francis. Thursday’s game will begin at 3:00 PM.