First year head coach Kelli Zache has a strong core of returning talent taking the field in the spring of 2014 to continue the Belles’ legacy of softball success.
Among that core of players is two-time All-MIAA First Team honoree Callie Selner ’14, who is continuing to put together one of the best pitching careers in program history. A year after setting the school record for most wins in a single season, she struck out 122 batters in 133.1 innings while limiting the opposition to a .232 batting average. On offense, Selner led the team in batting average (.429), hits (48), and runs batted in (34).
Fellow first team all-conference selection Jillian Busfield ’16 looks to build upon a breakout freshman season. She set the school record for home runs in a season with 11, led the team with 27 runs scored, and boasted a .720 slugging percentage. In addition to being a first-team honoree, she was named the All-Region Third Team in the Central Region by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.
Victoria Connelly ’15, Cecily Medina ’15, and Kayla Chapman ’16 will all be looked to for their experience. Connelly has played in 75 games through her first two seasons and had a career-best 11 runs batted in as the leadoff hitter. The junior outfielder also notched a 10-game hitting streak last spring and led the team in stolen bases. Medina made 18 appearances last spring and posted a .257 on-base percentage at the dish. Chapman had the third-best batting average in her first season with the Belles while belting five home runs. Defensively, she led the team with 59 assists at third base.
Sarah Burke ’16 will be complementing Selner in the circle again in 2014. The sophomore posted eight wins and 13 complete games a season ago. Her three shutouts led the team in 2013, and she will be looked upon to round out the pitching corps for the Belles this spring. Classmates Sarah Callis and Angela Dainelli add to a solid returning lineup as the pair started all 36 games for Saint Mary’s during their rookie seasons.
The Belles open the 2014 campaign in Fort Myers, Florida at the annual Gene Cusic Classic, which the team will participate in from March 9-13. Saint Mary’s is slated to play their home opener on March 22 against Wheaton (Ill.) at 1:00 p.m. Conference play kicks off of the Belles on April 5 as the team hits the road to face Albion for a twinbill beginning at 1:00 p.m.