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SMC Softball: Belles hope to streak by Alma

Chris Michalski | Friday, April 3, 2009

Saint Mary’s will try to tack two more wins onto its seven-game winning streak as the Belles (18-2, 4-0 MIAA) travel to Alma College (14-9, 4-2) for a doubleheader.

The Belles are coming off a doubleheader sweep of the Olivet Comets, their third straight sweep.

The Scots, on the other hand, have split four of their last five doubleheaders and have a record of 8-4 since returning from their spring break trip Florida.

With conference play in full swing, the Belles seem to be playing their best at just the right time.

“We are playing really well as a team. Everyone is contributing both on offense and defense as we are now starting to really string hits together,” Belles coach Erin Sullivan said. “Everything seems to be clicking for us right now.”

In particular, the combination of stellar pitching performances and rock-solid defensive efforts has been a recipe for success lately, as the Belles have given up only three runs in their last six games.

“Our pitchers are really hitting their spots and are avoiding the walks. We are keeping people off the bases, which really takes pressure off our defense,” Sullivan said. “Our middle infielders have been playing especially well and our outfielders tracked down some long fly balls in our last game.”

Sullivan also noted the importance of senior catcher Ashley Fusaro in the overall performance of the pitching staff. Sullivan said Fusaro has shown her leadership qualities, calling pitches and mentoring the two pitchers, freshmen Angela Gillis and Monica Palicki.

Fusaro’s bat has not gone unnoticed, either, as she currently has a .492 batting average with a home run and 12 RBIs.

The Belles currently sit in first place in the MIAA, and a sweep of Alma would put them in prime position to earn a berth in the conference tournament.

The opening pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday.