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Belles to open home schedule with Alba

Steve Coyer | Friday, March 26, 2004

After a tough stretch of games on the road, the Belles will begin league play at home Saturday.Saint Mary’s (5-8) has lost six straight games and will get little rest as they meet defending MIAA champions Alma College in a doubleheader.Alma (18-2) has been dominant with seven shutout victories so far, and the team looks to be on course for another league championship. Against a strong team like Alma, the Belles realize they cannot fall behind early in the game as has happened previously this season.”We don’t want to play catch-up anymore,” coach Anna Welsh said. “Once we begin to start playing aggressively from inning one, then we will be a much more successful team.”In a doubleheader last year against Alma, the Belles were shutout in both games losing 8-0 and 9-0. In each game, Saint Mary’s fell behind in the first inning and failed to get anything going on offense. The Belles had two hits the entire doubleheader.This season Saint Mary’s has more experience against Alma and will look towards returning starters Libby Wilhelmy, Erin Sullivan, Jackie Zurcher and Marnie Walsh.While the Belles have nearly every starter returning from last year, Alma likewise has their key players back this season. Alma boasts three players from last year’s All MIAA-first team, including Erin Carson – who received the league MVP award.Despite the challenge posed by Alma, Saint Mary’s feels confident they can play competitively provided they start the game strong.”In order to reach our goals on the season we are going to make adjustments to help us get prepared to have a better start in the first inning,” Welsh said.Saint Mary’s will play at home this Saturday at 1 p.m.