Selner, Burke drive Belles to four-game win streak
Josh Dulany | Wednesday, March 19, 2014
The Belles will bring the momentum of a four-game win streak into their matchups this weekend against Wheaton at home and against Dominican in Rosemont, Ill.
Belles coach Kelli Zache said this run of victories had her feeling good about her team’s prospects for this weekend and beyond.
“I’m happy in that we won the last 5 out of 6 down in Florida,” Zache said. “We were able to get most of the butterflies out and make adjustments that can help us for the season.”
During this recent run of wins, the Belles have gotten strong performances from their pitching duo of senior Callie Selner and sophomore Sarah Burke. Selner has a 1.98 ERA on the season, and in her past two starts, has allowed just one run, while recording 20 strikeouts.
“Callie had an awesome week.” Zache said. “She is now the school record-holder for wins.”
Selner has strong numbers from the plate to complement her pitching dominance. She has batted .409 so far this season, and during this four-game streak, she has batted in four runs and scored four more.
Meanwhile, Burke has racked up 15 strikeouts in her last two starts, to go along with her 3.32 season ERA.
The Belles have gotten further hitting contributions from sophomore catcher and first baseman Jillian Busfield. She has seven RBIs on the year and hit the team’s only home run of the season in the Belles’ win over Bethany Lutheran on March 12.
Zache sees her team’s success as stemming from its balance and depth.
“I can’t pinpoint just one or two players,” Zache said. “Everyone has contributed to the team at one point or another. I think showing that team contribution early on is a good indicator.”
Both of this weekend’s opponents come in with momentum of their own.
Wheaton (9-1) started the season hot and has won seven straight games while Dominican (8-4) is on it’s own four-game win streak. The Stars have outscored opponents 40-2 during that four game stretch.
Despite the tough competition, Zache remains confident her team has the experience and ability to get good results out of the weekend.
“We have won some big games,” Zache said. “I think that has built our confidence and will help us compete with these good teams. The girls have a tremendous amount of focus, precision and execution.”
The Belles play their first home game of the season against Wheaton on Saturday at 1 p.m. and travel to face Domincan in the Dome at the Ballpark in Rosemont, Ill., at 5 p.m. EST Sunday.