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Belles to battle Hope for first conference win

Rebecca Slinger | Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The Flying Dutchmen of Hope College in Holland, Mich., may not sound like a force to be reckoned with, but their record over the Belles says differently.Hope (11-5) is tied for first with Alma in the MIAA with a 4-0 league mark – and the Belles (13-3) lost to Alma Saturday 9-1 and 4-0. In the past two seasons, Saint Mary’s has lost three out of four games to the Dutchmen, the Belles only victory coming 1-0 last season.Saint Mary’s sophomore pitcher Kristin Amram said this league game will not turn out like their losses to Alma, “We got our bad day out of the way,” Amram said. “We’re not going to let it happen again.”Amram also said the Belles want to avenge their past losses, but the team is not focusing on those games.”Our main focus is this season,” she said. “We feel that we’re better … than last year. We’re going out against them just like they’re any other team. We’re going to play our game and not worry about anything else.”If sophomore pitching duo Calli Davison and Amram can pitch with their usual control against Hope’s strong hitting, the Belles could compete with the Dutchmen. Hope junior outfielder Jessica Regnerus enters with a .512 batting average, and junior catcher Kylee Brouwer is hitting .510. But Hope could have a difficult time with its powerful hitting when they face Amram (0.72 ERA) and Davison (3.22).The Belles also will look to take advantage of Hope’s pitching. The Dutchmen’s best pitchers are freshmen Deidra Enochs (1.92) and Sara Fisher (2.65). Belles freshman outfielder Ashley Peterson – entering the contest batting .455 – will pose the biggest obstacle for Hope. The Belles also will look to their power – senior shortstop Sarah Miesle, who has a slugging percentage of .800, Amram (.714) and sophomore catcher Ashley Fusaro (.808).”[Hope] can definitely hit, but we have a different team,” Amram said. “We have different pitching. They have not seen this pitching staff before. I think we’re completely ready for this team tomorrow.” The Belles face Hope at 3:30 p.m. today on their home field.