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SMC Softball: Belles rest up for Kalamazoo

Mike Ginocchio | Thursday, April 25, 2013


The Belles were given an extra day of rest when rain cancelled their doubleheader with Trine on Wednesday. Saint Mary’s now turns its attention to its doubleheader against Kalamazoo at home Thursday.

The games against Trine (29-3, 12-0 MIAA) have been rescheduled for Friday. 

Though disappointed, coach Erin Sullivan said the Belles (17-13, 7-3) are undeterred by this interruption and are already looking forward to their next matchup against Kalamazoo (5-15, 2-10), a team Saint Mary’s has dominated in recent years. 

“These are must-win games,” Sullivan said. “We have never lost to Kalamazoo since I have been coaching here, so I fully intend for us to win these two games. We are well prepared and more likely the better of the two teams.”

The Hornets are in the middle of a late-season slide, having dropped six games in a row. Kalamazoo was swept by Alma, 9-0 and 5-1, in Wednesday’s doubleheader. Over the course of this losing streak, the Hornets have scored seven total runs and have been shut out three times. 

The Belles, meanwhile, are 4-2 in their last six games, with their most recent action a doubleheader Monday. They split the games with Hope, winning the first game 3-1 before dropping the second 8-2.

Sullivan said the best way to prepare her team for the Hornets will be to adjust her batters to the level of pitching they will be facing.

“We practiced slower pitching today,” Sullivan said. “Kalamazoo pitchers throw slower and [locate their] pitches more down in the zone.” 

The Belles will look to ride their strong hitting to victory against the Hornets. As a team, the Belles post a robust .300 batting average, with junior pitcher and third baseman Callie Selner leading the team with a .438 batting average. 

Elsewhere, freshman catcher and first baseman Jillian Busfield leads the team with nine home runs and is tied for second in RBIs with 24.

The Belles will take on the Hornets at home Thursday. The conference doubleheader begins at 3:30 p.m

Contact Mike Ginocchio at mginocch@nd.edu