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Belles swept by Thunder

Becky Slinger | Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tri-State pitchers limited the Belles – who are third in the MIAA for batting average (.358) – to 10 hits and three runs in Tuesday’s doubleheader, leading the Thunder to trump Saint Mary’s 9-1 and 3-2.After disappointing conference play, freshman second baseman Maureen Healy said the team is still struggling to find its rhythm. “We hit fine our first game today – it’s just a matter of stringing those hits together. I think we’re just missing that one little thing,” Healy said. “Once we find [our rhythm] I think we’ll be all right.”In the first game, sophomore pitcher Calli Davison struggled against the Thunder’s powerful hitting, allowing 11 hits in five innings. Belles senior shortstop Sarah Miesle scored one run on designated hitter Laura Heline’s single to center field.The Thunder drove in four runs in the third inning and three runs in the fourth. In the last inning of the game, Thunder senior shortstop Rainbow Bednarski scored to end the game 9-1 in five innings.The Belles nearly made up for their lack of offense in the first game by narrowly losing to the Thunder 3-2 in the second contests and stretching the game to all seven innings.”The second game we started off leading – we jumped on them,” Healy said. “The momentum was on our side versus the first game … when we couldn’t catch up. The second game we were in it more, and it was a lot more competitive.”Sophomore first baseman Katie Rashid went 2-for-3 and homered in the second. Rashid batted in Heline who had doubled to left field earlier in the inning.Tri-State quickly answered the Belles by getting in two of its own runs. The score stood at 2-2 until the fifth when Tri-State sophomore Sallie Richardson scored on a wild pitch to give the Thunder the lead for good. In the seventh, the Belles had a chance for a comeback. Rashid singled, and then sophomore Cathy Kurczak reached second on an error, advancing Rashid to third. In the next three at-bats, the Belles were unable to get another hit and left the runners stranded on second and third, ending the game 3-2.Tri-State (21-5) is now 5-1 in the MIAA. The Belles (14-6, 1-5 MIAA) are still second from the bottom in MIAA standings, above Kalamazoo (0-8 MIAA).The Belles will next face Goshen College (No. 8 in the Mid-Central Conference) in Goshen, Ind., Thursday at 3:30 p.m.