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SMC Softball: Belles sweep Spartans for non-conference win

Kevin Baldwin | Monday, March 22, 2010

Saint Mary’s brought home a pair of wins Saturday as the Belles swept Manchester College in a doubleheader. The Belles claimed their first victory in dramatic fashion by a score of 7-6 after two extra innings before an 11-8 win to close the day.
One of the most crucial aspects of the Belles’ double victory was their solid performance in the field that allowed them to hold the Spartans in critical situations. Sophomore pitcher Monica Palicki was a force on the mound, throwing all nine innings of the opening game while giving up only one earned run to record her fourth win of the season.
“Monica Palicki threw really well and battled through some tough spots.  I was impressed with her mental toughness,” Belles coach Erin Sullivan said. “[Sophomore] Lauren Enayati had stellar defense in both games. It was very windy and she tracked down some balls that would not be caught by the average center fielder. She made some big outs for us.”
Several Saint Mary’s players had big games at the plate, including junior Hayley Bojorquez and senior Ashley Peterson. Bojorquez hit a home run in the sixth inning to tie the game for the Belles and Peterson’s seventh inning homer gave them the lead. Senior Maureen Healy came up big with a number of clutch hits throughout the day and sophomore Kristen Nelson went 3-for-3 with an RBI in the second game.
Senior Sarah Montelongo made a huge contribution to the team’s offensive effort, batting in no five RBIs in the second game while crossing the plate for runs in each game.
“Sara Montelongo has really found her niche in the DP [designated player] position.  She is hitting the ball hard and has had some good at-bats,” Sullivan said.  “She looks very confident at the plate and is hitting just shy of .400 right now, exactly what a coach wants from a DP!”
The Belles will have a week off before they take to the field against North Park University in a doubleheader Sunday.