SMC vs. Calvin
Belles Open MIAA Play with Sweep
KENTWOOD, Mich. - The Saint Mary's College softball team opened up the MIAA portion of their schedule with a pair of wins over Calvin College on Monday.
The Belles had the bats going early and often in game one against the Knights. Starting with Maureen Healy, Saint Mary's strung four hits together to score three runs in the top of the first inning. Healy got things going with a single to left field. Ashley Peterson drove Healy home on a double. Ashley Fusaro then came up and singled to move Peterson to third. Fusaro moved into scoring position as the Knights threw home to keep Peterson at third. Peterson then scored and Fusaro advanced to third on a passed ball by the Knights. Kate Mitchell capped off the hitting spree in the first inning with a single to drive home Fusaro and give the Belles an early 3-0 lead.
The offense picked up in the second inning right where they had left off at the end of the first by scoring three more runs on four hits by Lauren Enayati, Healy, Fusaro, and Mitchell. The Belles then added a run in each of the third and fourth innings to take an 8-0 advantage.
Monica Palicki and the Saint Mary's defense had more than enough offensive support to get things done in game one. The freshman scattered two hits over the five innings of the mercy rule-shortened game for her fifth shut-out of the season.
Four Belles had multi-hit efforts in the opener. Fusaro went 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles, two runs scored, and an RBI to help lead the offense for the Belles. Healy and Mitchell both went 2-for-3 from the dish in game one as Healy scored a pair and drove in a run and Mitchell picked up an RBI of her own. Enayati had a 2-for-4 performance and scored a run in the win.
The nightcap saw both teams strand runners over the first three innings for a scoreless 0-0 tie heading into the fourth. After retiring the Knights in order in the top half of the inning, the Belles broke through in the bottom of the fourth. Ashley Peterson drew a lead-off walk. Ashley Fusaro then doubled to put Peterson and herself in scoring position. Kate Mitchell came up and drove Peterson home on a sacrifice fly to right field for the game's first score. Hayley Bojorquez followed up Mitchell with a single to left center field to plate Fusaro.
The Knights made things interesting in the top of the seventh inning by scoring a pair of runs with two outs to tie the score at 2-2. Determined to get things done in regulation, Bojorquez picked up her second hit of the game with another single to left center field. Katie Rashid then executed the sacrifice bunt to move Bojorquez to second base. After a wild pitch gave Bojorquez the chance to move to third, it looked as though a close play at first was going to go the Belles' way, but a scoop by the Knights' first baseman kept Bojorquez at third and gave the Belles two outs. In a battle of an at bat, Cathy Kurczak came out on top with a single to center field to score Bojorquez and give the Belles the 3-2 win.
Angela Gillis moved her record to 9-0 on the season, allowing seven hits and a pair of unearned runs over seven innings of work.
Bojorquez and Kurczak both went 2-for-3 in the win for Saint Mary's. Bojorquez drove in a run while scoring the game-winner while Kurczak picked up an RBI on the game-winning hit. Ashley Fusaro, meanwhile, extended her hitting streak to 17 straight games with a hit.
The Belles (16-2, 2-0 MIAA) will return home to host Olivet College for a big MIAA-showdown on Wednesday, April 1. The doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.