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SMC Softball: Belles take two, drop two

Meredith Kelly | Monday, April 8, 2013

Saint Mary’s swept both games of a double-header against Albion – its first MIAA conference opponent of the year – on Saturday before losing both games against North Park on Sunday.
The Belles defeated Albion 9-4 in the first game and 21-4 (five innings) in the second game. They lost their scoring touch the next day, however, losing 1-0 in the first and 6-3 in the second.
“The conference seems a little stacked this year with a lot of disparity between the top and bottom teams, so these Albion games were must win games,” Belles coach Erin Sullivan said.
Saint Mary’s started off strong in the first game with four runs and six hits in the bottom of the first. Senior Emily Sherwood, senior Morgan Bedan, freshman Jillian Busfield and junior Callie Selner all crossed home plate to make the score 4-0 going into the second inning.
Saint Mary’s pushed its lead to 8-2 in the fourth. Selner hit a single to left center, bringing home both Watkins, who reached base from a single up the middle, and Sherwood, who got on base following a fielding error.
Saint Mary’s solidified its 9-4 lead in the top of the sixth with a home run from Sherwood.
The second game saw an offensive outburst from Saint Mary’s. They sent 43 batters to the plate and hit through the lineup in both the first and the fifth inning. The Belles tallied six runs in the first inning, three in the second, two in the third, and 10 in the fifth. Busfield, Bedan, Selner, Sherwood and sophomore Victoria Connelly all scored for the Belles.
Selner, who pitched in the first game, and freshman pitcher Sarah Burke both recorded wins in the circle. Selner only allowed two earned runs off three hits with eight strikeouts and two walks in seven innings of play. Burke, who pitched the shortened second game, only allowed three earned runs on five hits and two strikeouts in five innings of play. Despite their victories, Sullivan said the strongest point of both games was the hitting.
“We really hit the ball hard and attacked the opposing pitchers rather than getting deep in counts and watching good pitches go by without swinging,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan said Emily Sherwood was a standout player for the Belles.
“She hit .600 on the week and (hit) her first collegiate home run with an incredible line drive over the left center fence,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan also said Busfield and freshman Kayla Chapman, both graduates of Riley High School in South Bend, had great games. They collectively accounted for five home runs in one day.
Sullivan said she is happy with the team’s overall performance, although there are always areas for improvement.
“The team did a great job of capitalizing on errors, hitting the ball hard, and coming back offensively when we had some defensive miscues,” Sullivan said. “I think we need to do a better job of getting the third out in the inning on defense.”
Saint Marys’ will take on Hope, another MIAA conference opponent Wednesday at home at 3:30 p.m.
Contact Meredith Kelly at mkelly29@nd.edu