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SMC Softball: Belles look for MIAA title

Deirdre Krasula | Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Saint Mary’s enters the MIAA Tournament as the No. 3 seed after posting an 11-5 league record, and will face off against No. 2 seed Alma on Friday at 11 a.m.

Alma (12-4) fell to the Belles, 9-1 and 8-1, on April 8.

The Scots’ only other two losses came against No. 1 seed Hope College on April 15. Hope swept Alma 5-0 and 12-1.

The second game of the day takes place between Hope and No. 4 seed Olivet.

Hope (12-1) suffered one conference loss the entire season, falling 1-0 to Saint Mary’s on April 5.

Olivet enters the tournament with a 10-6 record. Olivet swept St. Mary’s 2-1 and 6-4 on April 22.

Even though the Belles fell to Olivet, senior pitcher and outfielder Bridget Grall does not feel that this should be a problem for the team.

“We are going in starting all over,” Grall said. “Starting back at the basics and perfecting things.”

Grall said the team hopes to focus on improving their already successful season. In order for this to happen, Saint Mary’s will have to continue to play loose and not be distracted.

Grall also said the Belles’ motivation all season has to been to have fun. If the team is not having fun, than they do not play well.

Grall, along with fellow seniors Audrey Gajor and Meghan Marenkovic, play on Friday with the hope that their game against Alma will not be their last.

“I think it is easier as a senior to get fired up [for the tournament] than it is for the underclassmen,” Grall said. “They have years ahead of them.”

Belles coach Erin Sullivan said the team wants to continue far into the post-season, to ensure that Friday will not be last time the underclassmen walk onto the field with the senior class.

“We really want to win that tournament [MIAA tournament] and advance to Regionals,” Sullivan said. “That has been our goal all season long.”