Belles finish .500 after splitting double header
Josh Dulany | Monday, April 28, 2014
Saint Mary’s drew its season to a close over the weekend, splitting a double header with Alma. The Belles (16-16, 6-10 MIAA) took the first game, 6-4, before dropping the second, 7-5, in eight innings.
Senior pitcher Callie Selner pitched game one in her final start for the team. She pitched a complete game, tallying two strikeouts and earning the win, finishing her college career with a record of 10-7. Selner said her feelings on the mound were a mix of concentration and excitement.
“It was obviously an exciting day,” Selner said. “I was focused on having fun, enjoying the time with my teammates and just executing all the things I needed to do to help the team.”
While Selner held the Scots (16-16, 8-8) to four runs, the Belles’ offense got going early before exploding in the fifth inning. Selner and sophomore first baseman Jillian Busfield led off the second inning with consecutive singles and Busfield came around to score on a groundout and RBI bunt. The Belles added one more in the third, but Alma pulled the game even at two in the fourth.
In the fifth, Saint Mary’s got started with back-to-back singles from junior catcher Cecily Reyes and Busfield to put runners on the corners. Sophomore first baseman Maria Roberts entered the game to pinch run for Reyes and the Belles executed a double steal to take the lead. The big hit in the inning came from junior outfielder Victoria Connelly as she hammered an RBI double. She scored on sophomore outfielder Sarah Callis’ single and the Belles led 6-2 at the end of the fifth.
Selner allowed a two-run home run at the top of the seventh. The Scots then put runners on the corners with just one out. The next batter, senior first baseman Christina Snoblen, hit a deep fly ball to right field, which sent Belles junior outfielder Nina Vlahiotis to the warning track. Vlahiotis made the catch with her back at the fence, and she fired the ball into first base to end the game on a double play with the final score at 6-4.
The drama continued into the day’s second game. The Belles scored in the opening frame on an RBI from Busfield, but the Scots responded immediately and pulled even in the second.
Callis then rounded the bases for a run without a single hit to give Saint Mary’s a 2-1 lead. She got on base on a walk, got to second on a sacrifice fly, reached third on a groundout and scored on an illegal pitch.
Alma bounced back, scoring four consecutive runs off Belles sophomore pitcher Sarah Burke. The Scots got one run each in the third and fourth, before extending the lead to 5-2 with two runs in the fifth.
Saint Mary’s rallied in the sixth. Freshman shortstop Caitlyn Migawa led off with a single, and Busfield hit a home run to cut the lead to one. Selner batted next, and after fouling off two pitches with a full count, she tied the game with her fourth home run of the season.
“I just wanted to keep the at-bat alive,” Selner said. “I didn’t want a strikeout to be the last thing I did at the plate and I finally got the contact I wanted.”
Selner and the Belles came up a bit short of the ending they wanted, however. The Scots got a runner on base in the first extra frame, and Scots sophomore catcher Kayla Marice connected on a walk-off homerun that gave Alma the 7-5 win.
Selner was on the mound for the season-ending homerun, but Selner said the unfortunate ending would not ruin the entire season or the positive future she thinks is ahead for the Belles.
“It was a disappointing end, but it was a solid season,” Selner said. “We had fun as a team, drew closer together, and I think the girls have great things ahead. Caitlyn Migawa, Jillian Busfield, Sarah Callis. I think those three will provide great leadership for the future on the field and in the lineup.”
The Belles finish their season at 16-16 with a 6-10 MIAA record that left them in seventh place in the conference.