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SMC Softball: Saint Mary’s drops two contests to Alma

Joseph Monardo | Monday, April 4, 2011

On a snow-flecked field in Michigan, the Belles dropped both games against conference juggernaut Alma Saturday, coming up short in consecutive hard-fought contests, 10-6 and 7-1.

Alma (19-2, 2-0 MIAA) may have emerged victorious from the weekend matchup, but Saint Mary’s (10-5, 0-2 MIAA) gained confidence from its outings, as they went toe-to-toe with one of the conference’s top teams.

“They have a very strong team, they have a very deep line up, so all their players are phenomenal,” junior outfielder Lauren Enayati said of Alma. “I definitely feel like they are a great team, but I think that we are also a very good team as well and unfortunately, both games went to them but we had a good fight and we definitely could have won.”

The Belles put up an especially good fight in the first game, when freshman first baseman Chrissy Porter drove in Enayati for the game’s first run in the opening inning. The Belles added two more runs in the second inning on a number of Alma errors to bring their lead to 3-0. After Alma answered back with four runs in the third inning, the teams traded runs in the fourth before the home team plated four more in the fifth, effectively putting the game out of reach.

Despite the disappointing loss in the first game, Enayati said she and her teammates were satisfied with their performance in the day’s opener.

“Our hitting was not lax at all … it was a really great battle so I thought that our mental toughness was really good the entire game,” she said. “Unfortunately, we did have a few innings where we struggled a bit defensively but we definitely did come back and prove that we are a really great team offensively. We kept hitting and we never gave up, and I thought that was a really great thing.”

In game two, the Belles rode the pitching of junior Monica Palicki, combined with some great defense, through three scoreless innings. Alma notched three runs in both the fourth and fifth innings and tacked on another in the seventh, outmatching the one run plated by the Belles in the game.

Freshman pitcher Callie Selnar incurred the game one loss, and Palicki took the loss in game two. Selnar also put forth one of the best offensive performances of the day, coming up just a triple short of the cycle in game one. She came around to score three times and drove in two runs, and went 2-3 in the second contest. Selnar summed up her offensive success quite simply, belying how impressive of a performance she put forth.

“I just go up there and hit the ball, really,” Selnar said.

Selnar added that she takes solace in the fact that her team put forth strong showings in both losses.

“Even though we lost we played a good game and we never gave up and that is what we need to do for every game, learning to never give up,” she said.

Enayati agreed that Saint Mary’s has done a good job thus far of giving what she deems “110 percent,” but said that the team must be sure to maintain a positive outlook.

“I think that everyone just needs to stay up, stay positive and know that we can and will produce these runs and be really strong defensively as well,” Enayati said. “I think that just knowing we are a great team and believing it is something that everyone can improve on a little bit at least.”

Enayati has certainly taken on a positive attitude herself, and looks for the Belles to put forth some strong showings as they try to move beyond their most recent losses.

“I think that anybody can have a bad day,” she said. “I think we have a very strong team as a whole: pitching, hitting and defensively. I am definitely not worried, I think we can come back and definitely prove that we are a great team overall.”