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SMC Softball: Belles face struggling Grizzlies

Chris Masoud | Thursday, March 26, 2009

With only two losses to their name midway through the season, the Belles will head into their match against Franklin today hoping to continue their torrent pace towards the MIAA playoffs.

Saint Mary’s (12-2) will travel to face non-conference opponent Grizzlies (3-11) in a doubleheader. Franklin is coming off a late-inning, come-from-behind victory against Transylvania, one of the top teams in the HCAC, to split a doubleheader.

The Belles are also rebounding from a doubleheader split in their previous matchup against Manchester last week. The Spartans held off a Saint Mary’s comeback in the seventh to win the first game by a score of 7-5.

But showing the importance of a short memory, the Belles came back in the second game to jump on the Spartans in the early innings. Stingy pitching and strong defense helped the Belles hang on for a 5-4 victory.

A 2004 alumna in her fourth season as the head coach of the team, Erin Sullivan knows how good her players can be when they play to their full potential.

“I was proud of our pitchers for staying in two tight games,” Sullivan said. “I am hoping today’s games were a good wake-up call for us to make sure we play our game and play the sport with passion, the way it is meant to be played.”

For better or for worse, the Belles have had a full week off to recover and to prepare for a Grizzlies team that can be dangerous when underestimated.

Saint Mary’s will look for strong performances in the lineup from freshman Lauren Enayati and senior Ashley Fusaro, who have been instrumental in the Belles’ success thus far. But in the end, strong pitching and solid defense will play a dominant factor in today’s outcome.

Saint Mary’s takes the field at 3:00 p.m. at American Legion Field in Franklin, Ind.