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SMC Softball: Belles hope to stay mentally sharp

Deirdre Krasula | Thursday, April 13, 2006

After an eight-game run in which they swept defending MIAA champions Alma, split with Rockford and swept both Bethel and Calvin, Saint Mary’s has five days off before taking on Tri-State Monday at St. Mary’s Field at 3:30 p.m.

Head coach Erin Sullivan said the Belles’ goal was to go .500 over the eight games, which were played over a four-day stretch.

The team exceeded her expectations, going 7-1 to extend its record to 21-7 overall and 7-1 in the MIAA, good enough for first place.

Sullivan said the Belles will try to improve despite their place at the top of the conference standings.

“If you obtain your goal, you make [your next goal] a little bit harder,” Sullivan said.

Freshman right-hander Kristin Amram has helped lead the Belles to the top. Amram was named MIAA pitcher of the week last week for the second consecutive week.

Amram earned three wins over the eight-game stretch, striking out 30 batters in 21 innings. She allowed two runs and walked only six.

Tri-State is ranked fourth in the MIAA with a 3-1 record in league play and 15-13 overall.

The Thunder are led offensively by sophomore center fielder Karly Hooker. Hooker has batted .422 driving in three doubles and two triples. She has also scored eight runs, had seven RBIs and five stolen bases.

Hooker is also a defensive force for Tri-State, making only one error in 13 fielding chances this season.

Saint Mary’s hopes to be able to carry the momentum it has gained from the past eight games over to Monday’s contest against Tri-State.

“We are going to take what we have learned and tweak it to make ourselves better,” Amram said. “We don’t want to lose our momentum.”

Sullivan says her team is going to use the short break to work on the mental part of its game. She feels the Belles are already physically ready.

“We are going to take this time to relax,” Sullivan. “[We are going to] get mentally ready for Tri-State.”