SMC vs. Manchester
Belles Split with Spartans
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - After dropping the first game of a doubleheader with Manchester, the Belles came back to take game two from the Spartans and move to 12-2 on the season.
Manchester took advantage of some Saint Mary's miscues in the top of the first inning to go up 3-0 early. The Belles got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth. Cathy Kurczak led off the inning with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Lauren Enayati. Two batters later, Kurczak scored on a single to left center field by Ashley Peterson to make the score 3-1.
The Spartans responded in the top of the fifth with four runs to push the lead to 7-1 going into the bottom half of the inning. The Belles had a comeback on their minds and would not go quietly. Hayley Bojorquez got on via an error to start off the offensive fifth inning for Saint Mary's. Katie Rashid then hit a perfectly placed ball down the right field line for a double that scored Bojorquez. Two batters later, Kristen Nelson hit a triple to the right center gap to score Rashid easily from second. Nelson then scored on a fielder's choice by Kurczak to cut the lead to 7-4.
The score remained that way until the bottom of the seventh inning. Peterson scored a two-out run from second on a single to center field by Rashid, but the Belles would fall short in their rally and drop a 7-5 decision to the Spartans.
Peterson, Fusaro, and Rashid each went 2-for-4 in game one. Peterson scored a run and drove in a run while Rashid collected two RBIs and scored a run for the Belles.
Monica Palicki went the distance on the mound, allowing nine hits and just three earned runs in the loss.
The Belles took the early lead in game two as Maureen Healy scored the game's first run in the bottom of the first inning. The Spartans tied the game a 1-1 with an unearned run in the top of the second inning. Saint Mary's responded right away when Hayley Bojorquez scored on a single up the middle by Kate Mitchell.
After three scoreless innings, Manchester would score three runs on a double and a two-run home run to take a 4-2 lead going into the bottom of the sixth inning. Ashley Fusaro led off the bottom of the sixth for Saint Mary's with a single. After a hard line-out to second, the Belles strung three hits together by Bojorquez, Mitchell, and Kristen Nelson to tie the game at 4-4 on Nelson's double to left center. Cathy Kurczak then battled at the plate and came up with a long sacrifice fly to right field to plate Mitchell for the game-winning run. The Spartans would then strand a runner at second in the top half of the seventh inning as the Belles took the 5-4 win.
Peterson, Bojorquez, Mitchell, and Nelson each had two hits for the Belles. Bojorquez scored twice while Mitchell drove in two and scored once to help pace the offense. Peterson extended her current career-high hitting streak to 14 games while Ashley Fusaro pushed her current hitting streak to 13, spanning from last season.
Angela Gillis moved her record to 7-0 on the season, surrendering nine hits and three earned runs over seven innings of work.
The Belles (12-2) will return to action next Thursday, March 26 when they travel to Franklin College for a doubleheader beginning at 3:00 p.m.