SMC Softball: Belles to host Olivet for two
Chris Michalski | Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Today’s conference doubleheader between Saint Mary’s and Olivet features two solid teams with a combined 31-5 record.
The Belles (16-2, 2-0 MIAA) have won five straight and nine of their last 10, sweeping Calvin in a pair of road games Monday to open the conference slate. The Comets (15-3, 1-1), after a 12-0 start to the year, lost three of four last week but swept Concordia in non-conference action Saturday to get back on track.
Though the MIAA season is still young, Belles coach Erin Sullivan said every game is crucial as only the conference’s top four teams advance to the end-of-the-year tournament, which begins April 30.
“We play one game at a time,” Sullivan said. “Our goal right now is to beat the teams we are supposed to beat, which we did yesterday against Calvin, and compete against the remaining teams in the conference.”
Besides the tough competition that saturates the MIAA, the Belles may also have to battle fatigue, playing multiple doubleheaders on little rest. Saint Mary’s is in the middle of a stretch of six games (three doubleheaders) in six days, but Sullivan said the schedule is actually a positive.
“We played 10 games in 5 days over spring break and did very well,” she said. “The team is always excited to play, so the more games we get to play, the better we tend to be.
“This can be mentally exhausting, but we have a day or two between most games to mentally prepare for the next game.”
Junior shortstop Maureen Healy has been leading her team offensively lately, going 2-for-3 in the first game against Calvin with two runs and an RBI. Last week, Healy was named the MIAA’s position player of the week for her role in a pair of victories over Franklin last Thursday.
The first game of the home doubleheader is set to begin at 3:30 p.m.