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SMWC Softball = 2019 USCAA Softball National Champions; #1 Seed Cleary Ousted by the Pomeroys...Twice

SMWC Softball = 2019 USCAA Softball National Champions; #1 Seed Cleary Ousted by the Pomeroys...Twice

DUBOIS, Pa. - Fifth-seeded Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College softball defeated top-seeded Cleary University 4-3 to win the 2019 United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) National Championship today. This is the program's fourth National Title in the last five years (2015, 2016, 2017, 2019). Nonetheless, SMWC has won a total of 12 USCAA Softball National Championships.

Coming into today's championship, SMWC knew they would need to beat the Cougars twice. Much easier said than done considering Cleary University lost only two games in-a-row on three occasions this season.

The Pomeroys were able to force a winner-take-all game after a 5-2 victory. The Woods got things moving in the first inning when Camryn Scott tripled on a 1-1 count to score Hollie Jones. Katelynn Kennedy was called upon for the start and she pitched a gem. Kennedy went the distance and struck out two batters holding the powerful Cougar offensive attack. Megan Robinette took the loss for the Cougars. Hailey Miller, Scott, Hollie Jones, Kelsey Young, and Kindra Gingerich each finished with a hit. 

In the final game, SMWC beat Cleary 4-3. The Pomeroys struck first with a run in the second inning as Kennedy singled and went to third on a double by Ariel Spivey.  After an infield out, Nicole Niespodziany hit a foul out to bring in Kennedy for a 1-0 lead. Kennedy was called upon to start once again, she delivered with a completed game and victory. She threw four strikeouts and allowed seven hits throughout the game. Nicole Finazzo from Cleary was charged with the loss. Miller and Jones led the Pomeroys the second game. Taylor Andrew earned a walk in the fifth inning which would score a run One out later Hollie Jones singled to put runners at first and second before a two-out double by Hailey Miller to push the lead to 3-1. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Niespodziany singled to score Spivey and give SMWC a 4-1 lead. The Cougars tried to claw back into the game as they scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning but the Pomeroys defense held its ground.

SMWC's Hollie Jones and Hailey Miller both unanimously received USCAA All-Tournament Team. Katelynn Kennedy was named USCAA All-Tournament MVP for her impressive pitching performances at Nationals. 

2019 USCAA All-Tournament Team

Fr.

Util.

Penn State Hazleton

Cassandra Passamonte

Jr.

IF

Penn State Brandywine

Haley Grossi

Jr.

P/1B

Carlow

Abby Stroud

Sr.

P

Mississippi Univ. for Women

Madison Scoggin

So.

3B

Cleary

Liz Stockert

Sr.

UTIL

Saint Mary of the Woods

Hollie Jones

Sr.

C

Cleary

Jordan Schneider

Sr.

INF

Mississippi Univ. for Women

Heidi Matthews

Fr.

INF

Saint Mary of the Woods

Hailey Miller

Quote | Head Coach Mike Andrew

On how proud he is of the team and the way they showed up to play at Nationals...

"I'm so very proud of all these young and very talented ladies. We won five in-a-row to take out the #1 seed in the tournament. Big performances by our pitchers and our whole team. We hadn't hit the ball very well this year, but once we got to Nationals everyone hit the ball. We had only four strikeouts in the last five games. Taylor won back to back games yesterday and Kate matched that today with her two."

On what it was like seeing his daughter (Taylor Andrew) and the seniors go out on top...

"It was kind of bittersweet today because most of these girls I've had since they were freshmen. It was tough seeing my daughter play her last competitive game and it was very emotional but I'm glad she went out on top. Not only are the seniors' great softball players but even better young ladies who I know will have a huge impact in the world. I have enjoyed being around these girls immensely."


Quote | Katelynn Kennedy

On what it felt like to win her first National Championship at SMWC and finish as All-Tournament MVP...

"Today was a ton of fun for the whole team. We came out ready to play and it showed. I am so thankful to be a part of this team and I definitely could not have gotten MVP without the stellar defense behind me. Our bats were on fire this week and we all definitely deserved this!"


Quote | Hollie Jones

On what leaving as a National Champion feels like...

"Going out on top is one of the best feelings in the world. The only other best feeling is celebrating in the middle of the field with my teammates and the girls that you have total faith in, that you believe in and that you can count on. We fought for this as a whole and as a team. WE did this. WE were All In. WE didn't use any Excuses. WE are the USCAA National Champions!"


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