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SMC Softball

Belles travel to take on Hope

| Tuesday, April 8, 2014

After coming out on top in their conference-opening games against Albion, the Belles look to remain unbeaten in the MIAA as they travel to play Hope today.

Saint Mary’s (10-6, 2-0 MIAA) is currently ranked third in the conference behind second-place Hope (10-9, 4-0) and first-place Trine (20-1, 4-0). When the Belles faced the Flying Dutch last season, the teams split the games. Saint Mary’s won the first competition, 3-1, before losing the second bout, 8-2.

Today’s results will rely, in large part, on whether the Belles can out-hit Hope. The Belles have won nine out of 10 contests this season when winning the hits category. Saint Mary’s has dropped five of six contests when losing the hits battle. Hope has racked up 99 hits in its 10 wins while delivering only 43 in nine losses.

Hope is currently on a four-game winning streak in which it has scored 35 runs while giving up only five runs. Sophomore outfielder Autumn Anderson, junior catcher Adalee Robertson, sophomore infielder Jenna Maury, junior infielder Kelsey Cooper and junior infielder Peyton Wells lead the charge for the Flying Dutch. All five players are hitting .283 or above this season, while Wells and Maury also lead the team with 12 RBI apiece. On the mound, Hope’s junior ace Natalie Hiser has won seven of her 10 starts and has posted a 2.31 ERA along with 58 strikeouts.

Anderson was an All-MIAA selection as a freshman last season, finishing fourth on the team in batting average and third in successful steals. In the Belles’ victory over Hope last year, Anderson went 0-4 at the plate.

The Belles’ will have to rely on the big bats of freshman infielder Caitlyn Migawa, sophomore infielder Kayla Chapman, senior pitcher Callie Selner and sophomore catcher Jillian Busfield, who are all hitting above .314. Busfield also leads the Belles with two homeruns and 12 RBI.

Winners of eight of their last 10 games, the Belles look to make their case as a legitimate MIAA title contender with a double-header against Hope tomorrow at 3:30 p.m.

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