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SMC Softball

Belles travel to take on Wheaton

| Wednesday, March 25, 2015

After a strong start to their season, the Belles look to stay hot as they travel to play Wheaton on Thursday.

Saint Mary’s (8-2) has not taken the field since a Spring Trip game in Florida on March 12 after their scheduled double-header against Dominican this past Sunday was postponed. Wheaton is not a familiar foe for Saint Mary’s, as the scheduled matchups between the Belles and the Thunder (6-7) were cancelled in both 2014 and 2013.

The Belles’ early season success has been in large part due to the team’s performance at the plate. Freshman outfielder Cassie Young currently leads the team in batting average at .452, registering 14 hits in 31 at-bats. Junior outfielder Sarah Callis is not far behind Young, however, registering a .424 average thus far.

The Belles have also received a significant amount of production from junior catcher/first baseman Jillian Busfield. Busfield, who was named first team all-MIAA and first team all-region in 2014, has been tearing the cover off the ball up to this point in the season. Through 10 games, Busfield has hit four home runs and has registered 16 RBIs, leading the team in both categories. Her slugging percentage of .735 far outpaces the player with the next highest percentage on the team, which is Young at .581.

The Thunder are led by junior pitcher/first baseman Katie Thornton. Through just 13 regular season games, Thornton has already pitched six complete games, pitching a total of 50.1 innings thus far. Despite her heavy workload, Thornton has been very efficient, only giving up 16 earned runs while her opponents are hitting a mere .175 against her.

During the Belles’ spring trip to Clermont, Florida from March 7 to March 15, they outscored their opponents 61-28. On the contrary, the Thunder will be looking to get out of a slump and register their first home win of the season after starting 0-4 at home.

The Belles look to make their case as a legitimate MIAA title contender at Wheaton this Thursday at 3 p.m.

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