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SMC SOFTBALL: Hope College sweeps doubleheader with Saint Mary’s

TOM STILLER | Friday, April 15, 2005

Saint Mary’s (5-14, 0-10) dropped both games of a doubleheader yesterday to a talented Hope College (17-6, 8-2) 3-1 and 10-4. The two losses extended the Belles’ losing streak to 15 games, with their last win coming against Emmanuel College more than a month ago during the team’s spring trip.In the game one loss, Saint Mary’s put up quite a battle in a losing effort against one of the best teams in the MIAA. Freshman pitcher/first baseman McKenna Corrigan and junior centerfielder Audrey Gajor each had a double to lead the offensive attack, with Gajor scoring the Belles’ only run. Junior pitcher/outfielder Bridget Grall turned in a quality pitching performance by scattering six hits over seven innings of work and surrendering only three runs.”We did everything great in game one, I was very happy with how we played,” head coach Kristi Beechy said. “We were hitting the ball hard, but Hope did too, and they found some more holes.”Game two was a little more lopsided as the Hope College bats touched up both Grall and Corrigan for 10 runs. Each pitcher is still searching for her first conference victory. Gajor again had a double, and sophomore third baseman Laura Heline erupted for a three-run home run, her first of the conference schedule, giving her seven RBIs and tying her with sophomore shortstop Sarah Miesle for the team lead.”I thought we played well in game two,” Beechy said. “I give their team all the credit, Hope has some really good hitters. Our bats needed to be woken up a little bit.”The Belles will look to get their first conference win in this final stretch of the season by maintaining focus. “We’re going to keep doing the things that we’re doing, and keep building on our last few games,” Beechy said. “We’ll get a few wins at the end of the season.”Next up for the Belles will be Bethel College over at Ivy Field tonight at 6 p.m. followed by a showdown with MIAA conference powerhouse Alma College (19-7, 7-1) tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m.