Nail-biting win caps three-loss spring break for Belles
Observer Sports Staff | Thursday, March 23, 2017
Saint Mary’s lost three games over spring break, but bounced back with a thrilling 17-16 record comeback win in overtime over Illinois Tech.
The Belles (1-3) lost 19-9 to Smith (7-1) to open the break period. The squad trailed within three minutes of play and found themselves in an early 6-2 hole that they could not recover from. Sophomore midfielder Kate Kelly scored two goals and recorded nine draw controls.
Against Wooster, the Belles trailed 4-1 within five minutes but cut the lead to 8-7 late in the first half. However, two goals just before halftime and three just after helped Wooster (5-1) to an 18-13 win. Kelly scored four goals and added six draw controls.
Against Western Connecticut (3-3), the Belles trailed 5-1 early and — despite cutting the lead to 5-4 halfway through the first half — couldn’t stay in the game and eventually lost 19-9. Freshman midfielder Mary Singler scored three goals.
Against Illinois Tech (6-1), the Belles looked set for another defeat trailing 13-7 after a 6-0 run and the score at 15-9 with under 12 minutes left. With only three minutes left, the Belles still trailed by four, but Singler — who scored a program-record seven total goals on the day — scored four goals in the final three minutes before Kelly scored the overtime winner after a Scarlet Hawks turnover. The win marked the biggest comeback in Saint Mary’s lacrosse history.
The Belles will play Ohio Northern on Saturday at 1 p.m.
In a busy spring break, Saint Mary’s started its season with two wins but finished their spring games in Florida 4-6 before splitting a two-game series with Aurora.
The Belles (5-7) got off to an ideal start on their opening day, defeating No. 21 Manhattanville 5-0 before beating Western Connecticut 9-3. Against Manhattanville (5-7), junior pitcher Morgan Raymer was a single out away from a no-hitter and didn’t let a single runner on base until the fifth inning. Although she allowed a double with two outs in the game’s final inning, a flyout ensured the one-hit shutout win. Against Western Connecticut (8-6), junior center fielder Cassie Young went 3-for-4 while junior second baseman Kelsey Richards recorded 4 RBIs on two hits, including a two-run homer.
The following day, however, the Belles dropped their first two contests to Ohio Wesleyan (4-6) and Bethel (1-12). Junior pitcher Jessica Alberts allowed only four hits and recorded seven strikeouts in the defeat to Ohio Wesleyan, but the Belles bats couldn’t get going.
Saint Mary’s defeated UMass-Boston (8-2) 10-0 in five innings, as Raymer pitched four more shutout innings on her way to another win. However, Raymer recorded her first loss and gave up her first runs of the season later that day to Anderson in a 5-1 defeat.
In two extra innings games, the Belles lost to UW-Stevens Point (7-11) 4-3 in eight innings before dropping a game with Rochester 7-6 in 10 innings. The Belles then lost 6-0 to Millikin before defeating Marywood (0-7) 11-0 in five innings in their last game in Florida. Junior shortstop Jamie Young went 3-for-3 with four runs scored against Marywood while Alberts pitched the shutout.
The Belles also split two games with Aurora (7-5), losing the first 4-3 but winning the second 6-1. The Belles trailed 3-0 after two innings in the second encounter and 3-1 when junior pitcher Mary Green came into the game in the fifth inning, but a five-run sixth inning helped earn Green the relief win.
The Belles will play Wheaton on Friday at 3 p.m.
Saint Mary’s won one of its five matchups over spring break, recording a comfortable win over Goucher but losing to UW-La Crosse, Saint Scholastica, William Smith and St. Norbert.
Against No. 15 UW-La Crosse (15-2), sophomore Elizabeth Preister recorded the only Belles win, a 6-4, 6-2 victory, while every other Belles player and doubles pairing lost.
Against Goucher (2-3), the Belles completed a sweep, with senior Sam Setterblad and sophomore Monica Davy both coming through in singles tiebreakers. However, against Saint Scholastica, the Belles lost 6-3, splitting the singles contests thanks to wins from Preister, junior Maddie Minaudo and freshman Meaghan Flynn but failing to win a doubles match.
Against William Smith (5-3), the Belles were swept, failing to win a singles set and winning only two games in the doubles, before a close encounter with St. Norbert. Three singles matches went to a tiebreaker with the score at 3-3, but Saint Norbert won two out of the three to emerge as 5-4 victors.
The Belles will play Wheaton on Friday at 7 p.m.