Softball Season Recap
Under the direction of first year head coach Kelli Zache, the softball team posted their ninth consecutive season of winning at least half of their games despite unfavorable weather conditions in 2014. This season, four non-conference doubleheaders were cancelled and three other doubleheaders were postponed and rescheduled due to the lingering inclement weather.
Starting the season at the Gene Cusic Classic in Fort Myers, Florida, the softball team closed out their week of competitions with four consecutive wins to leave the Sunshine State with a 6-4 record. That four-game winning streak saw the Belles outscore their competition 28-4 and was capped off with a thrilling 4-3 win over a Curry squad who would finish the year with 25 wins.
A week after returning from their trip, the Belles made it a six-game winning streak with a pair of victories over Dominican at the Dome at the Ballpark in Rosemont, Illinois. In both games, Saint Mary’s came back from a deficit and held off a late rally to maintain the lead and clinch the win.
After a pair of setbacks against nationally-ranked Carthage, the Belles swept their conference opening doubleheader at Albion. Saint Mary’s held off a late rally by the Brits in the opener and took command early in game two to hold the momentum from start to finish.
Bouncing back from ending on the wrong side of four conference games on the road at Hope and Olivet, the Belles were tough in both games in their first home doubleheader of the season on April 16 against Calvin. The Knights posted three late runs to take game one, but the Belles scored a pair of runs in the fifth inning of game two and held the Calvin offense at bay in the final two innings for a 5-4 win.
After splitting league doubleheaders with Kalamazoo and Adrian, the Belles swept a non-conference twinbill at Manchester to start the final week of the season. Jillian Busfield and Callie Selner hit back-to-back home runs three different times while Sarah Callis and Angela Dainelli each added a home run over the course of the Saint Mary's softball team's 7-3 and 10-6 wins over the Spartans.
In their final games of the season, the Belles battled their way to the final pitch in a home doubleheader against Alma. Game one saw Saint Mary’s clinch the win with a right field to first base double play in the top of the seventh to seal a 6-4 win. Game two featured back-to-back home runs by Busfield and Selner for the fourth time in a week to erase a 5-2 Saint Mary’s deficit in the sixth inning and tie the game at 5-5 before the Scots took the contest in extra innings. The Belles ended the year 16-16 overall with a 6-10 mark in conference contests.
At the conclusion of the season, Jillian Busfield picked up a pair of honors as the sophomore was named First Team All-MIAA and First Team All-Region after a strong second season with the Belles. Busfield led the team with a .449 batting average, a .704 slugging percentage, 44 hits, 28 runs batted in, and six home runs.
Callie Selner capped off a stellar career by becoming the program’s all-time leader in career pitching wins and career strikeouts while also hitting .333 and striking out just once at bat during her senior season. She pitched 118.2 innings and earned 10 pitching victories to become just the third pitcher in program history with three consecutive seasons with at least 10 wins in the circle. Cecily Reyes improved her batting average from last season by almost 200 points with a .324 average during her junior season. Sarah Burke, meanwhile, added nearly 20 strikeouts to her total from her freshman season to her sophomore year in the circle in 94.0 innings of work.