DUBOIS, PA – In two games against rival Saint Mary of the Woods College, Cleary University scored four runs. Kaitlin Dormire was responsible for each of those runs, with a pair of two-run home runs to power the Cougars to their first USCAA Softball National Championship.
Dormire, who over the last three years has had several big hits for the Cougars in the USCAA tournament, had a tournament-record four home runs in four games – including tying her own record from 2015 with a two-home run game. She hit .444 (4-9) for the tournament; all four of her hits were home runs. She was walked four times and added 6 RBI’s.
Just as integral in the Cougars title run was senior pitcher Riley Thompson. She started all four games in the tournament, going 3-0 with a 1.08 ERA in 26 innings of work. In the championship game, Thompson went the distance allowing just one run on seven hits and striking out 8. After taking the loss in last year’s National Championship game, the performance completes a storybook season. In 2018, Thompson won another USCAA All-American trophy, was named USCAA Player of the Year, added All-Tournament team honors, and won a National Championship.
For Saint Mary of the Woods, the loss snaps a three-year streak as USCAA Softball National Champions. Wednesday’s loss to Cleary was the Pomeroy’s first loss in the tournament in four years. The two teams played even until Dormire’s two-run shot in the bottom of the sixth inning, spoiling a stellar pitching performance from Christian Chambers. The Pomeroys would play their way back to the National Championship game with a 7-0 victory over Carlow University Wednesday evening. In that game Taylor Andrew, the Saint Mary of the Woods ace, pitched a three-hit shutout. Hollie Jones had a multi-hit game, and Kerri Schrock and Mariah Stout had multi-RBI games.
The Pomeroys would return on Thursday with Andrew back on the mound. The score remained tied at zero until the bottom of the fourth inning. Sarah Hall led off the inning with a fly out to left field. Morgan Richer followed with a walk, setting up Dormire’s heroics – a no-doubter far over the left field wall. The walk would be the only one issued by Andrew on the night.
The Pomeroys pushed across a run in the sixth inning to make it a one-run game. With one out, Schrock doubled to center. Kelsey Young followed with an RBI single. After a groundout by Nicole Niespodziany, Andrew followed with a single to left field. However, Stout, running for Young, was thrown out at the plate by Allie Newcomb to preserve the advantage. Thompson would retire the side in order in the 7th to complete the victory.
Carlow University finished third, their fourth-straight top-3 finish in the USCAA Softball National Championship.
2018 USCAA Softball All-Tournament Team
- Cara Hopper – Mississippi University for Women
- Katy Steffen – Penn State Brandywine
- Alexa Anderson – Penn State Brandywine
- Tori Lemay - NHTI
- Abby Stroud – Carlow University
- Hollie Jones – St. Mary of the Woods College
- Taylor Andrew – St. Mary of the Woods College
- Megan Baumgartner – Cleary University
- Riley Thompson – Cleary University
Most Valuable Player: Kaitlin Dormire, Cleary University