The Maryville College Scots NCAA Tournament run ended on Saturday afternoon, as MC fell to No. 16 DePauw University, 2-1.
The Tigers rallied for a two-run fifth inning, as a Jordyn Fera bases-loaded, two-RBI double was the difference over the Scots.
Maryville ends the season with a 29-11 record – just two wins shy of last season's 31-victory record. Seniors Alexus Murray, Christen Torres, Sarah Gordon, Casey Jolliff, Morgan Corland and Gabrielle Rathmell end their careers with a 107-61 mark.
"I've got to give it up to my seniors," Head Coach Leah Kelley said. "We have six seniors on this team, and we talk a lot about our standard that we've set. Unfortunately, we didn't play to that today, but the thing is, the seniors that are leaving this group, they are the ones that set the standard for us. They set it where this is now our normal thing. This is our second time in a row going to the NCAA Tournament, and we're excited to be here. Things just didn't go our way, but we're proud of where we are. We're proud of where this program is going, and these seniors have definitely left it with a standard that is going to be hard for these girls to keep up with for a while."
This senior class led the squad to back-to-back trips to the NCAA Regional Tournament in 2018 and 2019 – a first in program history. This season's trip marks just the fourth time the Scots have been on the big stage.
The six seniors claimed a pair of USA South Regular Season Championship and USA South Tournament crowns in their career – also a first for the MC program.
Reid Ballard was 2-for-2 to lead Maryville against the 16th-ranked squad, as she had an RBI and a walk. Murray was 2-for-4 with a run, as they combined for four of Scots' six hits.
"I think today, we fought hard. We have to give it to the other team," Kelley said. "St. Vincent and DePauw, they gave us their best. They battled. When it comes down to it, we made some plays that ended up costing us. That's the tough part of this sport is making those types of mistakes. Again, I'm proud of my girls, and I'm proud of the way they fought. Katlyn pitched 21 innings. Reid comes in today and gives us some bigtime hits in some clutch moments, so I'm proud of my girls. It's tough to end this way."
Smith tossed her third complete game of the NCAA Regional, striking out four. She ends the 2019 campaign with 200 total strikeouts for the season and 323 for her two-year career.
She is 39-8 in her two seasons, tossing 37 complete-game efforts. In 301.2 innings, Smith holds an ERA of 1.72, dipping that number to a 1.55 effort in 2019.
During the three games in the NCAA Tournament, the sophomore tossed 21.0 innings, while striking out 22 batters. She tossed a total of 413 pitches in just over a 24-hour period – 248 of those ringing as strikes.
Maryville College struck first in the bottom of the opening inning, as Murray led off the game with a single to right center. A pickoff attempt sailed wide, as the catcher advanced to third, before Ballard's RBI double to left-center plated the senior. The Scots led 1-0 early.
Smith pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the second to keep MC alive, as she forced a strikeout and a groundout to end the threat.
However, the Tigers took advantage of their second bases-loaded opportunity in the fifth. A trio of singles loaded the bases with one out, before Fera's double plated Kaylyn Linder and Becca St. Germain for the 2-1 final.
DePauw (33-13) saw Linder go 4-for-4 with a run, while Fera was 1-for-4 with a pair of RBI. St. Germain was 1-for-3 with a run for the Tigers.