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SMC Softball: Belles tie school record with 27 wins

Matt Unger | Wednesday, May 16, 2012

While the Belles did not achieve the end goal of an MIAA tournament title, the journey to that point was one of the more memorable ones in program history. The Belles tied a school-record with 27 regular-season wins and earned a dramatic senior day win against Alma to qualify for the MIAA tournament.

“We had three main goals entering the season,” Belles coach Erin Sullivan said. “First, we wanted to win more than 20 games. Second, we strove to qualify for the MIAA tournament [with a top four finish in the conference]. Finally, we sought to become a balanced and cohesive team.”

The Belles lacked one standout offensive player but compensated with depth. Seven players finished the campaign with averages above .300, led by senior Kristen Nelson who batted .369.

“I’ve never had a team that was as dependent on each other as this one,” Sullivan said. “Someone new each game stepped up and carried us.”

The Belles started with a 9-1 trip to Florida before Saint Mary’s closed its campaign by winning five of their last six MIAA games to finish 10-6 in conference and 27-11 overall. No win, however, was more dramatic than the walk-off 2-1 victory against Alma on Senior Day.

“We’ve never had so many seniors, and they totally understood our team culture,” Sullivan said. “We won because we had fun together and fed off of each other’s positive energy.”

Contact Matt Unger at munger3@nd.edu