SMC Softball: Saint Mary’s readies for MIAA opponent
Matthew Unger | Friday, April 13, 2012
The Belles, winners of three of their last four contests, look to continue their recent winning ways and move into the top four of the MIAA in a doubleheader at Olivet this afternoon.
Saint Mary’s (16-8, 3-3 MIAA) recently split a road doubleheader against conference rival Hope on Wednesday. After taking the first game in a 3-0 shutout, the Belles dropped a heartbreaking, 11-inning affair, 9-7.
Meanwhile, Olivet (8-16, 3-3) also split a doubleheader on Wednesday against Adrian College, winning the second game 10-7. The Comets, however, have struggled in non-conference play, with just five wins. In addition, two of their three MIAA wins came against 2-18 Kalamazoo.
Despite Olivet’s struggles, Belles’ coach Erin Sullivan cautioned against looking past the Comets.
“Every year, Olivet is tough to take two wins from,” Belles coach Erin Sullivan said. “They’re a determined, middle-of-the-pack squad that finds a way to win.”
Sophomore Callie Selner will look to anchor the Belles’ pitching efforts this weekend, especially after her performance on Wednesday. Selner carried the Belles in the first game as she allowed just five hits over seven innings. While she only struck out one, she induced bad contact from opposing batters and did not issue a walk.
“She really picked her spots well,” Sullivan said. “She’s a smart pitcher, and [catcher Megan Bedan] also called a great game.”
Selner leads the Belles with seven wins along with a 2.30 ERA and 53 strikeouts.
In the second game Wednesday, Hope appeared to be in control with a 5-0 lead in the seventh. However, the Belles rallied and tied the game on a two-out, two-run double by junior infielder Emily Sherwood. After tying the game again in the ninth and tenth, the Belles could not match Hope’s two runs in the 11th.
“[Despite the loss], the game was a positive for us,” Sullivan said. “We fought hard through 11 innings, and it was a game neither team wanted to lose. It makes us more excited for our next game.”
Following today’s game, the Belles return home for a non-conference doubleheader with Franklin College on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
Contact Matt Unger at email@example.com