Belles find success in tough conference matchups
Meagan Bens | Friday, May 19, 2017
The Belles started their season with something to prove and finished it by doing just that, finishing third in the MIAA.
Belles head coach Kelli Zache said she felt the season was their best ever for her Saint Mary’s (24-15, 12-4 MIAA) squad.
“This is my fourth season here and I think it was our best year in terms of competition and rising to the occasion and overcoming adversity,” Zache said. “We were third in the conference. We are usually underestimated, but we showed that we were ready to compete. I would have to say it was our best season.”
Zache was especially impressed with her team’s ability to find success in a competitive conference.
“For each opponent in the conference, we come in thinking how to outscore them. We are in one of the toughest conferences in the nation,” Zache said. “We have four pitchers and every pitcher is different, which can stop our opponents from gaining momentum. Our team is based on speed and fast play. We definitely win off of our quickness to attack when the opponent is on their heels or they are sleeping.”
Reflecting on the season, Zache said the team focused on being resilient despite the conditions.
“I would have to say the word resiliency represented our season,” Zache said. “We focused on mentally bouncing back after every day. It’s all about momentum and having the least amount of errors. Next season, I would like to continue that, but also capitalize on being aggressive on the bases. I want to focus on improving our strength and lifting a lot also.”
Looking ahead at the next season, St. Mary’s is only losing one senior first baseman Caitlyn Migawa. Zache said she was confident the juniors would be able to step up in her absence.
“We are losing one senior, Caitlyn Migawa,” Zache said. “She was a rock as a leader and embodies the whole essence of leadership. She is leaving behind big shoes to fill because she inspired the team throughout then season and did all the right things as a leader. But we have six juniors and they know what it takes. They’ve been in all the situations and know what to do.”