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SMC Softball: Early hits help lead Belles to key victories

Michael Todisco | Monday, April 19, 2010

The Belles earned a pair of important victories Saturday, defeating conference foe Olivet in both games of a doubleheader.

Saint Mary’s (18-14, 7-3 MIAA) entered the game Saturday with aspirations of staying in the running for a division title. Belles coach Erin Sullivan said that in order to stay competitive in the conference, the team needed to “beat the teams [they] are supposed to beat.”

“Olivet was one of those teams,” she said.

Saint Mary’s set the tone early as four consecutive first inning hits resulted in a quick pair of runs. The Comets (11-14, 4-6 MIAA) would seize the lead after a lone run in the first and two in the second.

The Belles answered in the top of the third with three runs, including a home run from freshman Morgan Bedan, her fourth of the season. This gave the Belles a 5-3 lead that they did not relinquish, winning the game 8-5.  

Sophomore Angela Gillis pitched a complete game for the Belles, giving up seven hits and striking out a pair.  

Game two of the doubleheader came down to the wire. After six innings of play, the two teams were all even with a tie score of 4-4. Trying to avoid extra innings, the Belles came out motivated to score in the top of the seventh.

“Our hitters knew we had to execute one run in the bottom of seven, and they just made it look easy. Lauren Enayati led off with a blast up the middle and our next three hitters moved her around the bases to win the game,” Sullivan said.

Sophomore infielder Angela Gillis singled home the winning run to give the Belles the 5-4 victory.

Sullivan was especially pleased by the performance of her starting pitcher in the second game.

“Monica Palicki was lights out. She hit her spots and after a walk or a hit, she came back and got the next hitter. She was very mentally tough,” Sullivan said.

Palicki picked up the win for Saint Mary’s, striking out five and giving up four runs in seven innings of work.

Adding to the winning effort were seniors Maureen Healy and Ashley Peterson, who both had four hits in the second contest.

The Belles next play Wednesday, traveling to face conference rival Hope in a doubleheader starting at 3:30 p.m.