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SMC Softball: Belles take shot at regular season crown

Laura Myers | Friday, April 25, 2008

Saint Mary’s plays its last regular season game before the conference tournament Saturday afternoon, taking on first-place Tri-State.

The Belles (22-7 overall, 11-3 MIAA), currently third in the MIAA, have already reserved their spot in the upcoming conference tournament. But, with two wins on Saturday, it would be possible for Saint Mary’s to become regular season champs.

The tournament, which begins May 1, is held at the home field of the regular season winner.

Taking two against Tri-State will not be an easy task, however. The Thunder (26-4, 10-2) have only lost two MIAA games, one against conference co-leader Alma and the other against fourth place Hope. They put together an 11-game winning streak earlier in the season extending from March 22 to April 5.

Belles coach Erin Sullivan said she wants the team to do well, especially because the doubleheader finishes the Belles’ season at home.

“A good finish of our regular season would be a great motivator for the post-season,” said Sullivan.

Saturday is also senior day for the Belles. Pitcher and third baseman McKenna Corrigan, the only senior on the team, will be honored for her commitment to the program.

Corrigan has been a powerful force for the Belles all season. On the mound, she is 11-0 with a 3.94 ERA in 81.2 innings pitched. At the plate, Corrigan holds a .330 batting average with 29 RBI and a conference-leading five home runs.

“[Corrigan] has been a fantastic leader for us all season and I am going to miss her love of the game, dedication and personality so much,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan added that Senior Day is an extra motivation for the rest of the team.

“[Corrigan] deserves a good couple of games in her last time playing here,” Sullivan said.

Sophomore Ashley Peterson may also have something to celebrate Saturday. The Belles’ most productive offensive player has 51 hits on the season, two shy of the Belles’ record.

Peterson leads the MIAA in batting average (.510), slugging percentage (.790), on base percentage, and is tied for the conference lead in hits.