Belles go 6-0 over Easter break
Observer Sports Staff | Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Saint Mary’s stayed busy last week and over the Easter break, playing three doubleheaders and opening MIAA league play. The Belles’ whirlwind stretch will continue tomorrow as they travel to Alma to face the Scots.
After splitting their first two league games against Adrian on March 31, both of which went to extra innings, the Belles swept Defiance last Wednesday to improve their record to 12-6.
In the first game, the Belles dug themselves into a 5-0 hole after allowing five runs, four earned, in the first three innings. However, junior pitcher Sarah Burke and freshman pitcher Jessica Alberts combined to allow 1 hit throughout the rest of the game. For her scoreless three innings, Alberts picked up the win.
She was helped by the Belles offense coming to life in the in the third and scoring in every inning for the rest of the game. This added up to eight runs and ten hits for the day. In the third, the Belles made the Yellow Jackets pay for their fielding miscues and hung four runs on Defiance pitcher Sarah Kaya. The inning was highlighted by a 2-run homerun by freshman outfielder Makenzie Duncan, and in the fifth Duncan doubled down the line to give the Belles the lead for good. The game ended 8-5, and the Belles won the nightcap 5-2 behind a 3-RBI day from junior catcher Jillian Busfield.
On Saturday against Calvin, the Knights committed 15 errors, and 9 in the second game. Despite the multitude of errors that gave the Belles multiple extra outs, they showed their full offensive capabilities in the fourth inning of the first game. In that inning, they scored seven runs on five hits and did not benefit from any errors. The Belles managed to string six two-out hits or walks together. One of the clutch hits was a three-run double by freshman pitcher Morgan Raymer that broke the game open. The game ended in six innings and Saint Mary’s beat Calvin 14-8 in the second game to push their league record to 3-1.
Last Monday, North Park challenged the Belles, and Saint Mary’s again emerged with two victories. The second game featured a memorable performance from Belles freshman pitcher Mary Green, who threw six innings of two-hit ball and was rewarded with her first career win.
While Green did allow three runs, none of them were earned, and she did her best to limit the damage from a bases-loaded, nobody-out jam. Although the final score was 10-3, the game was fairly close until the seventh. The Belles struck first with a run in the bottom of the second, and the teams traded 3 runs in the bottom of the fourth and top of the fifth. In the seventh, the Belles turned a 4-3 game into a 10-3 game with six runs, highlighted by freshman outfielder Cassie Young’s 2-RBI single. After winning the first game 6-2, the Belles completed another sweep to push their overall record to 16-6.
The Belles will have a quick turnaround and travel to Alma tomorrow for their third league doubleheader. The Scots are 16-10 overall, but 7-1 in conference, and they boast reigning MIAA pitcher of the week in Morgan Stratton.