SMC teams close out regular seasons
Observer Sports Staff | Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Saint Mary’s recorded a program-best 7-1 MIAA record, closing out its regular season with a 19-15 victory over Adrian.
Adrian (5-9, 4-4 MIAA) scored the first two goals of the game in the opening five minutes. However, the Belles (10-6, 7-1) tied the game and pulled away in the second fifteen minutes of the half. Freshman attack Mary Singler scored her third goal of the half with nine seconds remaining to give the Belles a 12-6 lead at the break.
Singler added two more minutes to give the Belles an eight-goal cushion, the first of which made her the first ever Belle to reach fifty goals in a season. However, the Bulldogs began to close the gap with a 7-1 run, bringing the score to 15-12 with 11 minutes remaining. But the Belles ensured the cushion never got any narrower, adding four more goals, including one to ice the game in the final minute, to seal the 19-15 win.
Singler’s five goals led the Belles, while junior midfielder Clare Theisen scored two goals and recorded four assists, four ground balls and nine draw controls.
The victory earned the Belles the second seed for the MIAA tournament and a tournament semifinal appearance against third-seeded Hope. It will be the first conference tournament in the history of the program, with the Belles having never recorded a winning record in MIAA play before this season. If the Belles win, they will face the winners of Calvin and Albion.
Hope and Saint Mary’s will meet Wednesday at 3 p.m.
Saint Mary’s earned two shutout victories over North Park, with junior Morgan Raymer not allowing a hit in a 7-0 victory before sophomore Zoe Bruni started in an 8-0 win.
In the opening game, the Belles (23-3, 12-4 MIAA) took advantage of three North Park errors in the first inning to take a 4-0 lead. Two more runs in the fourth inning and one in the fifth gave the Belles a 7-0 lead. Raymer left the game after five innings, recording six strikeouts without giving up a hit. Although junior reliever Jessica Alberts gave up two hits in the final innings, the Vikings were held scoreless in the 7-0 victory.
In addition to her pitching performance, Raymer went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Freshman left fielder Kelsey Keilman and junior center fielder Cassie Young both went 3-for-4 for two runs.
In the second game, Bruni pitched four scoreless innings to give the Belles a 2-0 lead, before the Belles broke out for six runs in the fifth inning and Alberts kept the Vikings scoreless to end the game in five innings.
Bruni, like Raymer, made a strong contribution offensively, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs and scoring one run.
Results elsewhere mean the Belles will face Alma in the MIAA tournament at 11 a.m. on Thursday.
The Belles finished their MIAA season with a 9-0 victory over Alma, securing a place in the MIAA tournament.
In the doubles, sophomore Monica Davy and senior Sam Setterblad won a close match 8-6, but the other two Belles pairings had little trouble, with freshman Meghan Flynn and senior Kaity Venters winning 8-1 while junior Kelsey Kopf and sophomore Abbi Fleming won 8-2.
Those two comfortable wins carried over to the singles, as the Belles won every set comfortably. Davy and Kopf each recorded love-and-love wins, while the other singles players won in straight sets too, with no set coming closer than 6-2.
The win ensured Saint Mary’s finished fourth in the MIAA ahead of Albion. The Belles will now face No. 21 Hope, who are undefeated in MIAA play and 17-3 overall this season in the conference semifinals
Saint Mary’s and Hope will meet Thursday at 4 p.m.