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SMC Softball: Belles maintain winning record despite 8-0 loss

Katie Heit | Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Belles suffered a tough 8-0 loss at Bethel Monday, bringing their record on the season to 8-3. “Every loss is a tough loss for us,” junior infielder Kate Mitchell said. “Bethel is always a good game and tonight we just could not produce runs on offense.”

Saint Mary’s struggled early on, giving a quick run to the NAIA No. 23 Pilots due to an error in the first inning, the first of five errors the Belles would make throughout the game.

The Pilots followed with runs in the second and fourth innings, bringing the score to 4-0 heading into the fifth.

Bethel’s offense proved to be too much for Saint Mary’s in the fifth inning when the Pilots scored four runs on five hits, including a two-run double, capitalizing on each the Belles’ errors.

“The main struggle we faced in winning the game is indicated through the final score,” senior captain and outfielder Hayley Bojorquez said. “We had zero runs and you simply cannot win a game with zero runs.”

Mitchell said a big problem was a slow start her team could not overcome besides entering the game ready to play.

“We made a few errors in the beginning and even though we kept up our energy, we were just taken out of our game,” Mitchell said. “We tried capitalizing all at once instead of trying to put the ball in play and trying to make things happen little-by-little.”

Freshman pitcher Callie Selner suffered her first loss, pitching through the fifth inning before junior relief Monica Palicki finished off the sixth and final inning of the game.

The Belles fell short at the plate, coming out with only one hit by Bojorquez. Junior center fielder Lauren Enayati came close on two occasions, once after being called out at first and again after a 10-pitch at-bat that went the other way. The Pilots scored their eight runs with seven hits.

Mitchell believed her team never lost the intensity they pride themselves on, but struggled to follow through when it came to executing offensively.

“We never lacked energy,” Mitchell said. “Mentally we were in the game the whole time, we just seemed to struggle at the plate.”

Bojorquez said she hopes the team can move forward and regain its focus today when it hosts Manchester for a double-header and open their home season. It will be Saint Mary’s first chance to compete on their home field after inclement weather forced the Belles to postpone two games last week against Goshen and North Park.

“In softball it is easy to lose sight of our personal strengths when we make mistakes,” Bojorquez said. “We aim to work on maintaining our heads through every inning of every game we play.”

Mitchell said she thinks her team will be able to overcome Monday’s struggles and turn things around today.

“I think we need to go out there and be aggressive at the plate,” she said.” If we put the ball in play we’ll make things happen.”

The Belles will face Manchester this afternoon with a double-header beginning at 3:30 p.m. on the Saint Mary’s field.