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SMC Softball: Belles focus on pitching, look to continue streak

Nick Boyle | Thursday, March 29, 2012

Saint Mary’s will aim to carry on its winning ways when No. 18 Carthage visits this afternoon. After dropping four contests in a row, the Belles have bounced back with three consecutive wins coming into today’s game.

“I think we had a little slip in there with the losing streak,” Belles coach Erin Sullivan said. “We were questioning our hitting after playing a lot of games in a short period of time. We got out of [our slump] Sunday, and then played really well on Monday. It just took some confidence, trusting the work we put in and being better prepared mentally.”

Since Carthage (10-2) is one of the better teams in the area, Sullivan said today’s contests will be a good test for the Belles (13-5) and prepare the team for their upcoming conference schedule.

“We want to make sure we play well [against Carthage],” Sullivan said. “We don’t want to make any mental errors. They are one of the best teams in the mid-west and will prepare us for the good teams we will play in conference.”

To compete against Carthage, the Belles will need to be sharp both offensively and defensively. Sullivan said this sharpness needed to start with pitching.

“We need our pitchers to come out sharp,” Sullivan said. “They need to get ahead in the counts and cut back on walks. Our hitters also need to be sharp and have quality at-bats. We’ve had too many pop-up outs and strike-outs recently.”

With conference play coming up quickly, Sullivan said she hopes her seniors will be able to step up for the team.

“Our seniors are all playing well right now,” Sullivan said. “For us to succeed, we need our leaders to step up and always be at the top of their game. They want to have a good season and need to challenge themselves to always bring their best.”

Saint Mary’s hosts Carthage today with the first pitch scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

Contact Nick Boyle at [email protected]