Belles win six straight, remain perfect in MIAA
Observer Sports Staff | Tuesday, April 4, 2017
After splitting a series with Wheaton two weekends ago, the Belles have rattled off six straight wins, including conference games against Olivet and Kalamazoo.
Against Wheaton, after both teams scored runs in the opening inning of the first game, the two squads also added a second in the fifth inning, but there were no other scores through seven, leaving the game tied. In the eighth, however, senior first-baseman Caitlyn Magawa hit a two-run single to put Saint Mary’s ahead, and three quick outs in the bottom half of the inning won the game for the Belles (12-8, 4-0 MIAA).
In the second matchup, Wheaton led 8-5 after three innings, but the runs soon began to slow down as light dimmed. The Belles added one run with one out in the seventh, but the game was then ended at 8-6 because of the light, ending the Belles’ hopes of a comeback.
Following the series split, the Belles went on a tear last week, winning six straight, including the first four games of their MIAA schedule. After beating Manchester twice, the Belles dropped Olivet in a double-header on Wednesday by scores of 7-1 and 5-0, respectively. Junior pitcher Morgan Raymer threw a complete game in the opener, while also going 3-4 at the plate with a home run and 3 RBI, and then pitched five innings in the second game en-route to the win.
Saint Mary’s continued their hot streak with two shutouts of Kalamazoo this past weekend, 6-0 and 5-0. The Belles once again dominated from the mound, as Raymer threw a complete game with seven strikeouts in game one, and junior Jessica Alberts followed up with a complete game of her own, carrying a no-hitter all the way into the seventh inning.
Coming off a thrilling 17-16 comeback victory over Illinois Tech, St. Mary’s recorded wins over Northern Ohio and Elmhurst, before falling to North Central and Illinois Wesleyan.
Against Ohio Northern, freshman midfielder Mary Singler tied the program record she set against Illinois Tech by scoring seven goals as the Belles (3-5) pulled away in the second half to win 16-10.
Senior midfielder Emily Vanneste was the one setting program records against Elmhurst, setting program highs in assists with four and caused turnovers with 7 while helping the team to a 19-4 victory.
Against North Central, the Belles looked to earn another late comeback, after a goal from junior Clare Theisen put St. Mary’s down by only one with just over a minute left. However, despite winning the ball back with more than thirty seconds remaining, the Belles could not score to bring the game to overtime.
Against Illinois Wesleyan, the Belles trailed 4-0 after only five minutes and struggled to get back into the game, eventually losing 17-8. Singler had two goals and an assist.
Saint Mary’s were swept by Wheaton and defeated by Augustana, before recording victories over Knox and Bethel.
Against, Wheaton, no Belles singles player won a set, with sophomore Monica Davy’s 6-4, 6-1 and junior Maddie Minaudo’s 6-1, 6-4 defeats among the closest singles matches. In the doubles, the Belles’ pairings also struggled, losing 8-4, 8-1 and 8-4.
Against Augustana, sophomore Elizabeth Preister grabbed a 6-3, 6-3 victory, but all other results went against the Belles. However, Saint Mary’s posted a better showing against Knox, losing a total of only six games between the six singles contests and two games in the three doubles matches, on its way to a comfortable 9-0 victory.
Good fortunes for the Belles continued against Bethel, as a tiebreak defeat in the singles and an 8-6 doubles defeat were the only losses as the Belles claimed a 7-2 victory.