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SMC Softball: Belles seeking bid to MIAA tournament

Michael Todisco | Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Saint Mary’s will host Calvin in an MIAA doubleheader Wednesday as the Belles look to improve their NCAA tournament résumé.

The Belles (19-15, 8-4) enter the game in position to gain entry into the MIAA tournament for the fifth time in seven years. Belles coach Erin Sullivan said the conference tournament is her team’s primary focus.

“Our goal is first and foremost to qualify for the tournament,” Sullivan said.
Although Calvin (10-19, 5-7) is near the bottom of the conference standings, the Knights have given the top teams in the conference tough games. Sullivan said they could be a difficult test for the Belles.

“Calvin is a tough team,” Sullivan said. “[Calvin] played Alma, currently first in our conference, really tough. We will have to keep battling to win these.”

The Belles are paced by senior outfielder Ashley Peterson, who was recently named MIAA Position Player of the Week. The Belles are currently first in the conference in batting average, slugging percentage, on base percentage and triples. Sullivan said her team’s offensive onslaught can continue against Calvin.

“We can always count on our hitters to do a lot of damage to the other team,” Sullivan said.
Monica Palicki and Angela Gillis are scheduled to be the two starting pitchers for Saint Mary’s today.  Sullivan is confident in her two pitcher’s ability to continue their success.

“Monica and Angela have both really bounced back with strong outings against Olivet and Hope in the last couple of weeks, so I am very confident in their pitching,” Sullivan said.

Calvin’s probable starter is freshman Shelby Mast.

“[Shelby] is a cancer survivor having had a recent surgery to remove her tumor in her chest,” Sullivan said. “She is having a strong finish after pitching nearly every inning for Calvin.”

The first game will begin Wednesday at 3:30 p.m at Saint Mary’s.