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SMC Softball: Struggling Belles take on Franklin

Katie Heit | Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Coming off three consecutive losses, the Belles will travel to Franklin College today for a doubleheader. Saint Mary’s has had a rough season since Spring Break and now has an overall record of 11-10 (1-5 MIAA).

The Belles have made a few adjustments in practice to combat their tough beginning.

“It’s tough to give everything you have and not end up on the winning end of the game,” Belles coach Erin Sullivan said. “We are going to go back to the reason we are all playing this game and how we care about the people rather than the outcome.”

Freshman pitcher Callie Selner said her team is trying to toughen up mentally for the upcoming games.

“Our team has mentally prepared ourselves better by being more confident and picking each other up,” Selner said.

The Belles, who pride themselves on being a strong hitting team, are focusing on that aspect of play now, especially since their at-bats have suffered since the start of conference play.

“We are swinging the bat, but it looks either tentative or uncomfortable at times,” Sullivan said. “We need to stop thinking and go up and hit.”

Saint Mary’s has struggled against Franklin in the past, falling to the Grizzlies both times the teams met last year. This year, Sullivan anticipates an easier game.

“They were a much stronger team last year,” Sullivan said. “[Now] they are young and scrappy. They play hard and want to win.”

One concern Sullivan has is the Grizzlies’ new coach, a recent Saint Mary’s graduate and softball player.

“They have an added member to their coaching staff this year, Cathy Kurczak, a standout player for our softball team from 2007-2009,” Sullivan said. “There will be a lot of emotion during this game.”

The Belles take the field today at 3:45 p.m. against the Grizzlies in Franklin, Ind.