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SMC Softball: Disappointing season ends with two losses

Chris Michalski | Monday, April 27, 2009

As the saying goes, it’s not how you start but how you finish.

For the Belles, the start was impressive, but the finish was anything but. After starting out 22-4, the Belles dropped eight straight to end the season at 22-12.

Saint Mary’s concluded its season Saturday against Trine. The Belles lost both contests, 8-3 and 5-1.

Despite the disappointing end of the year, Belles coach Erin Sullivan remained positive.

“I’m just really proud of my team, I think that they had a lot of fun, they got better,” she said. “We didn’t end the way we wanted to for sure, but looking at overall how we did, they definitely had a lot of great accomplishments.”

Game 1 looked promising for the Belles early, with junior left fielder Ashley Peterson hitting an RBI double to put the Belles up 1-0.

However, Trine, the two-time defending MIAA champs would not go down easily. The Thunder responded with four runs of their own in the bottom of the first inning, eliminating all momentum the Belles were building.

After Peterson hit a solo home run in the top of the fourth inning, Trine again had an answer in the bottom half with another three runs.

Peterson tried a third time to get something going, with another RBI in the fifth, but the Thunder continued the theme with a run of their own in the bottom half, bringing the score to 8-3.

In game two, the Thunder were up 2-1 after the first inning and tacked on two in the third and one in the sixth to compete the sweep.

Peterson led the way in both games for the Belles, going a combined 5-6 with one run and batting in all four of her team’s runs. Freshman center fielder Lauren Enyati was the recipient of three of those runs, and hit a combined 3-for-6.

Freshman pitcher Monica Palicki suffered her seventh loss of the year in game one and freshman pitcher Angela Gillis suffered her fifth in game two.

The games marked the end of the road for the team’s three seniors, catcher Ashley Fusaro, shortstop Cathy Kurczak and first baseman Katie Rashid. Sullivan had only good things to say about them.

“My three seniors, we are really going to miss them,” she said. “They were just great leaders, very positive, loved the game, loved the team, loved the program.”

The wins Saturday meant an MIAA regular season championship for the Thunder, while Saint Mary’s had already been eliminated from playoff contention entering the doubleheader.