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SMC SOFTBALL: Belles set to battle the Dutch

Tom Stiles | Thursday, April 14, 2005

Saint Mary’s (5-16) will look to stop the bleeding tonight when Hope College (16-6) comes to Saint Mary’s Softball Diamond for a doubleheader beginning at 3:30 p.m. The Belles are in dire need of a win to snap their current 13-game slide and end the season on a positive note.Hope College comes in with a conference record of 6-2, which is good for third place in the MIAA. Unfortunately for the Belles, Hope College has been playing very well of late. This is evidenced by its two impressive shutout victories over Adrian College Tuesday, with scores of 2-0 and 8-0, respectively.Hope College also boasts both the offensive and defensive players of the week in freshman right fielder Jessica Regnerus and junior pitcher Becky Whitman. Regnerus just finished off Week Four of MIAA play by batting .637 with three RBI’s and a stolen base, helping her team to four victories. Whitman owns two of those victories, which she earned by allowing two hits over twelve scoreless, striking out a total of seven batters while walking none. The Belles find themselves dead last in the MIAA standings with a record of 0-8. The last two losses came at the hands of Calvin College, who proved to be too much for the struggling Belles. Calvin upped its conference and overall records to 4-0 and 14-8, respectively, by defeating Saint Mary’s 6-3 in game one and 11-2 in game two.In game one, junior Bridget Grall pitched well enough for the win, allowing only two earned runs while striking out three in her six innings of work. Sophomore infielders Sarah Miesle and Laura Heline each had one hit apiece, leading the offensive attack by driving in one and two runs respectively. Game two saw Calvin’s bats come alive, as freshman starter McKenna Corrigan and Grall were roughed up for eleven runs on fourteen hits in their combined seven innings of work. The Saint Mary’s offense was stifled by senior pitcher Kara Van Kooten, who one-hit the Belles to go along with her four punch outs. Despite the losing streak, the Belles remain upbeat heading into the double-header tonight against Hope. “I think we’re playing good ball … we’re gonna get some breaks one of these days,” Miesle said. In the midst of this slump, some confidence could be Saint Mary’s greatest weapon.