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SMC Softball: Belles begin 2008 season over break

Laura Myers | Thursday, February 28, 2008

Several fresh faces will dot the lineup as Saint Mary’s begins its 2008 season next week.

The Belles, who will travel to Florida over spring break, have four freshmen and three sophomores among their ranks.

“The young players have come here to play hard every game,” coach Erin Sullivan said, who is in her third year as head coach of the program. “The leadership they have received from our five upperclassmen has been invaluable.”

The team does have some experience including returning junior ace pitcher Kristin Amram, who has already given this year’s freshmen something to strive for. In her freshmen year, she struck out 201 batters on her way to becoming MVP of the MIAA conference.

Sullivan points to the team attitude as a reason for the team’s achievements in recent years.

“We don’t have any ‘stars,'” she said. “Each player brings something different to our success.”

Saint Mary’s played well in 2007, setting a 28-13 mark that put them third overall in the MIAA. The top four teams in the conference make it to the postseason tournament. The Belles have qualified for the tournament in both of the past two years.

After returning from Florida, the Belles will begin their non-conference schedule. The first MIAA game is against Calvin on March 29.

Saint Mary’s brings a strong offensive attack along with its excellent pitching. Sullivan said practice time has been devoted to making the offense even more explosive in order to start out strong.

The Belles’ biggest goal is to make it back to the postseason tournament. Sullivan is confident about her team’s abilities.

“We have been a successful team in the past,” she said. “We have a great idea of what we need to do to get there and succeed.”