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SMC Softball: Belles take opener, lose game two in 11

Nick Boyle | Thursday, April 12, 2012

Traveling to Hope College, Saint Mary’s split its doubleheader Wednesday against its conference foe, taking the first contest in a 3-0 shutout while losing the second, 9-7, in an 11-inning thriller.

The first game featured an effective team effort from the Belles (16-8, 3-3 MIAA) to keep the hosts off of the scoreboard. Belles sophomore pitcher Callie Selner dominated for the visitors, throwing a complete-game shutout.

“Game one was a great group effort, we played very clean softball,” Belles coach Erin Sullivan said. “Selner threw a fantastic game, and our defense was solid with no errors.”

Saint Mary’s was able to get on the board in the fourth inning when freshman first baseman Jordie Wasserman drove in two with a home run. The Belles manufactured one more run in the seventh inning to secure the shutout win.

“Wasserman hitting the homerun was huge for us,” Sullivan said. “We had quality at-bats all game.”

The Belles didn’t fare as well in the second game, falling after 11 innings of play in a tight contest.

Hope got off to a quick start in the second contest, scoring two runs in as many innings. The home team added three more runs in the fifth and sixth innings, before taking a 5-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh.

With two outs and no runs, the Belles looked to be all but finished before rallying to score five to tie the game and send it to extra innings. Senior pitcher Angela Gillis, freshman infielder Michelle Duncan, and junior infielder Emily Sherwood all contributed RBI hits in the inning.

“We didn’t hit super-well in game two, but we were able to come back to score five runs in the seventh to tie the game,” Sullivan said. “That was very timely, clutch hitting.”

The two teams traded runs in the ninth and 10th before Hope moved two across in the top of the 11th inning. The Belles were not able to answer in the following frame, ending the game.

“While our six errors hurt us, the team stayed determined through 11 tough innings ⎯ coming back to tie three times ⎯ but we fell just short,” Sullivan said. “It was a tough loss, but was also very motivating to see us play so well against a good team.”

The Belles next take on conference foe Olivet on Saturday at home. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Contact Nick Boyle at nboyle1@nd.edu