SMC vs. Bethel
Belles Battle Pilots in Cross-Town Clash
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's softball team battled against one of the top teams in the country on Monday night in a doubleheader against cross-town foe and #4 NAIA Bethel College.
At first glance, the 14-4 and 14-11 scores might not appear to have been competitive games, those in the stands saw a resilient Belles group that refused to go down without a fight.
In the opener, Bethel scored nine runs in the first five innings and looked to close out the mercy rule-shortened game in the bottom half of the fifth. The Belles, however, had other things in mind. Morgan Bedan singled with one away in the inning, but then was out at second on a fielder's choice by Sara Montelongo to put the Pilots an out away from the win. Kate Mitchell, Kristen Nelson, Lauren Enayati, and Maureen Healy hit four straight singles as the Belles scored three runs to push the game into the sixth inning.
The Pilots plated five runs in the top of the sixth to go up 14-3. Angela Gillis led off the sixth inning for the Belles with a double to the left-center gap. She then advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a ground-out by Morgan Bedan for the 14-4 final.
Monica Palicki suffered the loss in game one as she went the distance, giving up just one extra base hit and striking out four. Kate Mitchell and Kristen Nelson were both 1-for-2 and scored a run. Nelson also notched two RBIs in the loss.
In the nightcap, the Pilots scored nine runs on eight hits in the top of the first inning and looked to be in the driver's seat. But the Belles once again were able to dig in and put up a fight. Maureen Healy, Ashley Peterson, and Angela Gillis strung together singles in the bottom of the first, and Morgan Bedan drove in Healy and Peterson with two outs to get the Belles on the scoreboard.
In the second inning, it was time for Mitchell, Nelson, and Enayati to get consecutive singles as Healy and Peterson each drove home a run to cut the Pilots' lead to 9-4. Bethel responded with a run in the top of the third, but the Belles came right back with some offensive production of their own. Hayley Bojorquez and Bedan both singled and moved up on a ground out by Montelongo to get into scoring position. The pair then scored on a single up the middle by Kate Mitchell to make the game 10-6.
After two scoreless innings by both teams in the fourth and the fifth, the Pilots scored a pair in the top of the sixth for a 12-6 advantage. As they had done all game long, the Belles' resilience was translated into runs in the bottom half of the sixth. Lauren Enayati singled, but was later out at second on a fielder's choice. Ashley Peterson reached on a fielder's choice, then the Belles were able to string together hits with two outs once again. Gillis, Bojorquez, Bedan, and Montelongo each singled in the inning as three more runs crossed home to make the game 12-9.
The Pilots added their final two runs of the game in the top of the seventh to go up 14-9. The Belles responded with runs of their own for the fourth time in the game in the bottom of the seventh. Kristen Nelson had a lead-off walk and Saint Mary's got three consecutive singles from Enayati, Healy, and Peterson to plate a pair. With the tying run up to bat a pair of times late in the game, however, the Belles were unable to get an equalizing hit and fell by the 14-11 score.
The Belles did out-hit the #4 Pilots in game two by a 19-14 margin as each player in the Saint Mary's line-up had at least one hit.
Angela Gillis was dealt the loss in game two as she went all seven innings, striking out four and walking none. Lauren Enayati, Ashley Peterson, and Morgan Bedan each notched three hits in the game. Peterson scored twice while adding three RBIs, and Bedan had four RBIs and scored once.
The Belles (11-7) will take to the road again as they travel to North Central for a doubleheader on Thursday afternoon beginning at 3:00 p.m. CST.