The Saints season came to an end at the District Tournament Saturday afternoon after a heartbreaking loss in the first game. The final score was 5-3 in 11 innings.
In a game where both teams featured late inning comebacks, the Vikings ultimately made one more play than the Saints to claim the all-important first game at the District Tournament Saturday afternoon.
Lei Guthrie, the Saints ace pitcher, pitched a brilliant game against the number 14 ranked Vikings. She went all 11 innings, and struck out 11 to give the Saints a chance. She threw 155 total pitches, 115 of them strikes.
Mercer, training in the sixth inning, got a two hit triple to take the lead before another hit put them ahead 3-1.
In the bottom of the seventh, Swartout doubled again and would later score on another hit by Harding. With Harding on first with two outs, Hannah Davis ripped a game tying double to the gap to send the game to extra innings.
Guthrie held Mercer scoreless but the offense could not push the winning run across in the 8th, 9th, or 10th. Mercer got a two out two run homer in the 11th to take the lead before getting the Saints out in the bottom half to take game one.
In game two, Guthrie was asked to take the circle again, as an injury at practice on Wednesday kept the other Saints starter Justine Dean out of action Saturday.
Guthrie, the Saints only sophomore, gave everything she had, but after 11 innings and 155 pitches in game one, she was spent. Mercer scored early and often to put the game away and clinch the district birth to Nationals.
"It was probably unfair of me to ask Lei to pitch in game two after a long game one", said Saints head coach Brian Dewey. "With the injury to Justine, we were just depleted. Game one was so important, if we had won that game, I would have rested Lei for a possible game 3 on Sunday. I am so proud of her for giving us what she had, it was a tough situation and she never quit."
The Saints season ends with a record of 29-17, a conference championship, and a region championship. The team wildly exceeded expectations after losing All American Ashlyn Slusher to an ACL injury just days before the season began. The Saints played every game with either 8 or 9 freshman in the lineup. The Saints look to be very strong in 2019.