Softball Season Recap
A team laden with freshmen this spring, the Saint Mary’s softball team continued to achieve success in the highly-competitive MIAA in a weather-plagued 2013. Five upperclassmen helped lead ten freshmen as the Belles gained a wealth of experience this spring.
After falling in their first three contests of spring break, the Belles responded with five wins in their next seven games to leave Florida with a 5-5 record. From that point on throughout the rest of the year, the team would maintain at least a .500 winning percentage.
Cancelations, postponements, and rescheduling were all common themes throughout the spring season. The Belles’ doubleheaders against Carthage and Wheaton scheduled for the week after spring break were both canceled. Six more doubleheaders were postponed and rescheduled while the site of the team’s doubleheader against Adrian switched venues due to continued rainfall throughout the month of April.
The Belles opened up conference play in April with a home doubleheader sweep of Albion and continued to have success on their home field a week later with a non-conference sweep of Manchester. In one of the most dramatic wins six days later, the Belles out-lasted Adrian in a nine-inning nailbiter.
After retiring the Bulldogs in order in the ninth, the Belles took little time ending the game. Leading off the inning, Morgan Bedan reached on an error and advanced to second on an errant throw to get into scoring position. Callie Selner stepped into the batter’s box, and the Bulldogs appeared to be intentionally walking the junior. On the second pitch of her at bat with the catcher standing and set up on the extreme outside of the zone, Selner took full advantage of a pitch that did not miss by enough and blasted a walk off two-run home run beyond the right-center fence to lift the Belles to the 5-3 win.
The following day, the Belles earned a home conference doubleheader sweep against Olivet on Senior Day. The Belles posted a 12-2 record at home in 2013 after winning both games at home against Kalamazoo less than a week later. The 12-2 (.857 winning percentage) mark at home was the best home record for a team under Erin Sullivan’s guidance since her 2007 squad was 9-1 (.900 winning percentage) in games at Saint Mary’s.
The Belles finished the season 19-17 overall and 9-7 in MIAA play to hold a share of fourth place in the final conference standings. Hope edged Saint Mary’s out in the tiebreaker for the final spot in the top-four only MIAA Tournament. It was the sixth time in the past eight seasons that the Belles have finished with at least a share of fourth place in the MIAA.
Callie Selner, Jillian Busfield, Morgan Bedan, and Emily Sherwood led a Saint Mary’s lineup that saw six players post at least a .275 batting average on the year. Selner led the team in batting average (.429), hits (48), and runs batted in (34) on offense. Busfield blasted her way onto the scene with a single-season school record 11 home runs, 77 total bases, a .720 slugging percentage, and 27 runs scored.
Bedan and Sherwood both ended their careers with solid efforts. Bedan led the team in doubles as she moved into fifth place in career RBIs and finished her career tied for eighth in home runs. Sherwood, meanwhile, led the team in triples and shared team-high honors for runs scored.
At the conclusion of the season, three members of the team earned All-MIAA recognition. Selner and Busfield were both All-MIAA First Team honorees while Bedan garnered All-MIAA Second Team accolades. Busfield then went on to be named to the All-Region Third Team in the Central Region by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.