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SMC SOFTBALL: Saint Mary’s seeks to grind out a win

Brian Cardile | Wednesday, April 6, 2005

The Saint Mary’s softball team looks to end a seven-game losing streak today when it plays host to conference foe Albion College.

The doubleheader will be the first home affair for the Belles this spring, after two other scheduled home games were cancelled earlier in the season.

The team hopes the meeting will also result in its first victory in nearly a month. The last time the Belles bested an opponent was March 10 in Ft. Myers, Fla. when the team shutout Emmanuel College 9-0.

Albion enters the game having dropped both games of a doubleheader to Hillsdale this past week.

Those two losses were the third and fourth in a row for the Briton squad. The total score in those four games was 37-10.

The struggling Britons should provide Saint Mary’s with an opportunity to notch their first MIAA conference victory of the year.

However, the Belles’ slow start is no reason for despair.

At 5-10 (0-2), the Belles squad finds itself with a similar mark to its 2004 record at this point in the season.

Last year, the team was 5-11 early in conference play, but won 15 of its remaining 23 games to end the season with both a winning record and an MIAA championship.

In addition to last season’s turnaround, the fact that seven of the Belles’ 10 losses have been by three runs or less should provide hope for the remaining slate.

Saint Mary’s will need both strong offensive and defensive performances today to secure victories.

With five players batting near or over .300, the Belles should be able to find holes in a Briton defense that has given up more than nine runs per game during its four-game slide.

Playing at home should also help the Belles, who have played well at neutral sites (4-5) but have struggled in opponents’ backyards, with an away record of 1-5.

Their first double dip at Saint Mary’s should help the Belles best their conference foe and get their season back on track.

The game will begin at 3:30 at Saint Mary’s.