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SMC Softball: Saint Mary’s takes down Hornets

Matt Unger | Monday, April 23, 2012

In a weekend doubleheader at last-place Kalamazoo, the Belles took care of business in two mercy-rule shortened contests, and put themselves in a strong position to make the MIAA tournament.

Sophomore pitcher Callie Selner pitched 10 shutout innings and went 5-for-7 at the plate with 6 RBIs, while freshman outfielder Victoria Connelly went 5-for-6 as Saint Mary’s (24-10, 9-5 MIAA) took both games in five innings by scores of 8-0 and 15-0 over Kalamazoo (2-26, 1-13).

With the wins, the Belles currently sit in a tie for third place with Adrian with just two MIAA games left. In order to earn a spot in the conference tournament, they must finish in the top four. Hope currently trails by two games at 6-6, but the Belles own the tiebreaker if the teams finish with identical conference records.

“We’ve got to take care of business next weekend against second-place Alma, and at worst earn a split,” Belles coach Erin Sullivan said. “Hope will be favored to win their remaining four games.”

For Saturday’s games with Kalamazoo, neither contest was in doubt, as the Belles seized early leads.

In the first game, senior pitcher Angela Gillis started the scoring on an RBI single in the first for an early 1-0 Saint Mary’s lead. The Belles offense then staged a two-out rally in the second, exploding for five runs. Seven straight Belles batters reached base, as Gillis contributed another RBI single, while freshman first baseman Jordie Wasserman doubled home a run.

“[The early leads] gave our defense and pitching more time to relax,” Sullivan said. “They let Callie Selner throw better and without much pressure.”

The Belles added two more runs in the third to lead 8-0, and ended the game after five by mercy rule. Selner allowed just four base runners, all on singles, and struck out three.

Meanwhile, in the second game, the Belles again jumped to an early lead via a Gillis RBI single in the first. Just like the first game, Saint Mary’s added five more in the second.

Connelly singled home a run as part of her 4-for-4 performance in the second game.

“As a lefty slap-hitter, [Connelly] did a good job of placing the ball where the fielders weren’t located,” Sullivan said. “She’s a smart kid, and is coming into her own as the season progresses.”

The Belles added four more in the third on two-run singles from senior outfielder Lauren Enayati and Selner to increase their lead to 10-0. Enayati finished the doubleheader 3-for-8 with 4 RBIs and six runs scored. In the fourth, their final inning at the plate, the Belles continued to tack on runs, as junior catcher Morgan Bedan laced a two-run double to left-center as part of another five-run inning. The hit capped off a 3-for-5 day by Bedan, who contributed six RBIs.

Selner (14-6) again pitched five shutout innings for the mercy-rule-shortened 15-0 win.

The Belles play their last non-conference games of the season Wednesday in a doubleheader at Manchester beginning at 3:30 p.m.

 

Contact Matt Unger at munger3@nd.edu