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SMC Softball

Belles drop doubleheader to Hope

| Thursday, April 10, 2014

Saint Mary’s had a rough trip to Holland, Mich., as Hope swept the Belles (10-8, 2-2 MIAA) in Wednesday’s doubleheader. The Flying Dutch (12-9, 6-0) took the first game, 3-0, before running away with the second game in a 9-2 rout.

Belles first baseman Jillian Busfield snags a throw from across the diamond during Saint Mary's game against Defiance on March 28, 2013.Allison D'Ambrosia | The Observer

Belles first baseman Jillian Busfield snags a throw from across the diamond during Saint Mary’s game against Defiance on March 28, 2013.

In the first inning of the day’s twin bill, Belles sophomore right fielder Moranda Hegedus reached first on an error and sophomore third baseman Kayla Chapman lined a single up the middle in the second at-bat of the game. That was all the offense Saint Mary’s would muster. They had zero hits over the next seven innings.

Meanwhile, Saint Mary’s senior pitcher Callie Selner struggled through five innings, giving up three runs on nine hits, as her record on the season fell to 6-4. Hope started the scoring in the second inning as junior designated hitter Julie Sobieski hit a home run to lead off the inning. Hope had RBI singles in both the fourth and fifth innings to stretch the lead to 3-0 and junior pitcher Natalie Hiser pitched the shutout for her eighth win of the season.

In the second game, the Flying Dutch kept the momentum from their first victory going with a strong start and never let up. Two unearned runs crossed the plate before Sobieski launched her second homer of the day to put the Belles in a 4-0 hole before they even got to the plate. Saint Mary’s junior center fielder Victoria Connelly’s RBI single in the second inning pushed the Belles’ first run of the night across the plate, but Hope kept on scoring. After another run in the second, Hope connected on three RBI singles in the sixth that stretched their lead to 9-1 and ended the day of Saint Mary’s sophomore pitcher Sarah Burke. Burke went 5.2 innings, allowing eight runs and her record dropped to 4-4 on the season.

Belles junior catcher Cecily Reyes concluded the day’s scoring with an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth, but Hope sophomore pitcher Kate Laverty still improved her record to 4-6, as she scattered 12 hits across seven innings in earning the victory.

The Belles will look to bounce back Saturday against Olivet, as they play their third consecutive MIAA doubleheader on the road. The Comets (15-8, 3-5) have lost six of their last eight games. They are led by freshman pitchers Morgan Stratton and Ashlynn Grubb. Grubb leads the team in batting average at .373 and has a 1.46 ERA while Stratton sports a 1.30 ERA to go with her 8-1 record in the circle.

Saint Mary’s will pitch Selner and Burke again. The Belles have also relied heavily on the offense of sophomore first baseman Jillian Busfield. She is hitting .408 on the season with 12 RBI, which are both team-leading marks.

Saint Mary’s will be looking to improve on their 2-2 MIAA record when it faces Olivet, their conference foe. The doubleheader will start Saturday at 1 p.m. at Olivet.

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