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SMC Softball: Belles set to face Defiance

Casey Karnes | Wednesday, March 27, 2013


After two weeks of bad weather and cancelled games, the Belles will finally play their first home game this Thursday against Defiance.

The home opener was originally scheduled for last Friday against Wheaton, but snow and cold temperatures led to the game’s cancellation. The Belles (6-6) were able to play a doubleheader that Saturday and ended up splitting at Franklin. After a 7-0 win in the first game behind junior pitcher Callie Selner’s standout performance, Saint Mary’s came out flat in the second game and lost 5-3. This week, senior captain and catcher Morgan Bedan knows the Belles must keep up their intensity.

“We definitely beat ourselves [in the second game]. We were too complacent and lacked the intensity that we need to be successful. It was a learning moment for our team; we now know that we cannot afford to slack and lack energy,” Bedan said. “We’ve focused a lot this week on accountability and toughness. The loss was definitely a tough pill to swallow but I think it taught us a great lesson and I hope that we’ve learned from our mistake.”

Defiance (7-5) is coming off a split against Rose-Hulman last weekend and will pose a serious challenge to the Belles. But Bedan wants her team to focus more on its own play than its opponent’s.

“We need to learn from our mistakes this weekend and move forward. Dwelling on them isn’t going to help anyone,” Bedan said. “We’re focusing on being better hitters; we have the talent and ability, but we’ve struggled with consistency.”

Luckily, there is one group of players Bedan has complete confidence in: the Belles’ pitchers.

“Callie Selner has been our saving grace in these first 12 games,” Bedan said. “She threw a one-hitter this weekend and got us a win, but she needs more support from her hitters. She should be undefeated this year. [Freshman pitcher] Sarah Burke is working hard to learn our system and adjust to the intensity of the college game. I’m comfortable with both of them.”

Burke’s quick adjustment to the college game has impressed her older teammates, Bedan said. Bedan also singled out outfielder Sarah Callis as another freshman with instant impact. 

Another factor the Belles hope will give them a boost this weekend is their return to their home field. Senior captain and shortstop Emily Sherwood thinks their knowledge of their field will give them an advantage.

“We all know the field well, for example the infielders know how the ball bounces off of our dirt and the outfielders know their territory well.  So we use this to our advantage,” Sherwood said. “We also have our friends, family and classmates to support us here at home, which is another aspect that we are blessed to have when we play at home.” 

The Belles will host Defiance at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Contact Casey Karnes at wkarnes@nd.edu