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Belles face conference foes

Rebecca Slinger | Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Saint Mary’s (14-4) will finally get its chance to battle MIAA rival Tri-State (19-5) with an opportunity to climb the conference ranks.

The Belles were originally scheduled to face Tri-State last Saturday, but the game was cancelled due to cold weather.

Tri-State, which currently sits in third place in the MIAA, is 3-1 in conference play. The Thunder have the second highest team batting average in the league with .369. The Belles are close behind in third, hitting at .356 so far this season.

The No. 8 Belles (1-3 MIAA) will use their sophomore pitching duo of Kristin Amram and Calli Davison – who have combined for an ERA of 2.03 this season – to stop the Thunder’s power hitting. Amram and Davison combine for the second lowest ERA in the league in pitching, one above the Thunder’s deep bullpen (2.43 ERA).

Tri-State has been especially deadly on their home field so far this season, the Thunder have posted a 7-1 record on their turf. The team’s only loss was an 8-6 slugfest with Indiana Tech March 26.

Saint Mary’s will be looking to turn around their record on the road against the Thunder. Three of the Belles’ four losses have come in their six road games so far this season. However, team members said delaying the game a week gave them time to get ready for the trip to Angola, Ind.

“I think it’s giving us more time [to prepare]. When they cancel a game it gives us a little more motivation to go out there and win even bigger than we wanted to in the first place,” freshman outfielder Ashley Peterson said.

Saint Mary’s has not played since last Tuesday when they split a doubleheader with Calvin to pick up their first conference win of the season by coming from behind to win in extra innings.

Last year, the Belles swept Tri-State 6-5 and 6-0 but played the Thunder at home in both contests.

“The odds are really good that it’s going to be the same this year,” Peterson said. “We have really great team chemistry and we really want to work together to come out on top.”

Saint Mary’s will have a chance to show off that team chemistry and turn around its early conference woes starting at 3:30 this afternoon.