SMC vs. Calvin
Records Continue to Fall as Belles Sweep Knights
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's softball team has won at least 20 games for each of the past five years and the individual accomplishments by Ashley Peterson continue to stack up as the Belles defeated Calvin twice on Wednesday.
In the opener, the Knights would get on the scoreboard first as they notched a run in the top of the first inning after a pair of walks and a pair of singles. The Belles' defense limited the damage by forcing the Knights to come up empty with bases loaded after that initial run.
The Calvin lead was short-lived as Saint Mary's came right back with a run of their own. Lauren Enayati dropped a single into left field. She then moved over to third when there was an error on Maureen Healy's sacrifice bunt, putting runners at the corners with no one out. Ashley Peterson then bounced a single up the middle of the defense to score Enayati from third.
In the bottom of the second, the Belles broke through for four runs to take control of the game early. After Kate Mitchell reached first on a fielder's choice, Kristen Nelson came up with a single to left center field for Saint Mary's. Enayati then connected with her second straight single to load the bases with one out. Healy hit a fly ball into foul territory on the left side of the field, which was caught by the Calvin left fielder but was not deep enough to sacrifice Mitchell in from third. Peterson then came up and drove the 2-2 pitch well over the right field fence for a grand slam and her school record 10th home run of the season.
After a scoreless third, the Belles tallied a pair of runs in the fourth and one more in the fifth. In the fourth inning, Nelson and Healy both notched singles. Peterson was then intentionally walked to load the bases with one out. Angela Gillis hit a grounder to the shortstop, whose throw was in time to the plate, but the catcher bobbled the ball as Nelson slid into home safely. Hayley Bojorquez then hit a sharp grounder to the second baseman who opted for the out at first as Healy was able to score from third.
In the fifth inning, Mitchell had a single to center field and scored on a double to the left center field fence by Nelson for the Belles' eighth run of the game.
The Knights had a run of their own sandwiched between the Belles' offensive outputs of the fourth and fifth inning, but Saint Mary's held on for the 8-2 win.
Monica Palicki earned the win after scattering nine hits over seven innings, surrendering two runs and three walks while striking out four.
Kristen Nelson and Ashley Peterson were perfect from the plate in game one. Nelson was 3-for-3 with a pair of runs scored and an RBI while Peterson was 2-for-2 with a grand slam, five RBIs, a run scored, and two intentional walks. Lauren Enayati had a strong game one from the plate as well as she was 3-for-4 with a two runs scored.
In game two, the Belles scored early and often en route to a 15-0 win in five innings. Saint Mary's plated a run in the top of the first inning to get some early momentum. Lauren Enayati continued her hard-hitting day at the dish with a single back up the middle. After moving into scoring position on a walk by Ashley Peterson, Angela Gillis drove Enayati home with a single to left field.
Saint Mary's spotted two more runs in the top of the second inning to go up 3-0. Sara Montelongo laced a double down the left field line, and Kate Mitchell knocked a hit through the left side of the defense to put runners on the corners with one out. Kristen Nelson then hit a ball into the 5-6 hole for a single to drive in Montelongo. Two batters later, the Calvin second baseman bobbled a hit by Maureen Healy, which allowed Mitchell to score the third run of the game.
The Belles then erupted for nine runs in the top of the third inning to take complete control of the game. Morgan Bedan reached first after an error by the Knights' pitcher with one out. Sara Montelongo then laced a line drive over the left center fence for her first career home run to start the scoring. The Belles then got five more hits, a walk, a fielder's choice, and a hit batter to plate seven more runs. Kate Mitchell and Bedan each had doubles in the inning while Kristen Nelson, Ashley Peterson, and Angela Gillis each notched singles as the Belles hit through the order.
After a scoreless fourth inning, the Belles tallied three more runs in the top of the fifth inning to go up 15-0. Bedan, Mitchell, Enayati, and Healy all registered hits in the inning. Enayati drove in Bedan and Mitchell with a triple to right center field while Healy singled to score Enayati.
Angela Gillis threw a three-hit shutout for the Belles as she walked one and struck one out in the win.
Enayati, Gillis, Bedan, Montelongo, Mitchell, and Nelson each had multiple hits in the game for Saint Mary's. The six players combined for 14 hits, eight RBIs, and 12 runs in the Belles' 21st victory of the season and 10th conference win.
Maureen Healy and Ashley Peterson, meanwhile, extended their current hitting streaks to 10 and 13 games, respectively. Peterson also continues to raise the bar for Saint Mary's records for season hits (59), career hits (213), season home runs (10), career home runs (22), season RBIs (52), career RBIs (143), and career doubles (54). The senior also continues to climb in several MIAA season and MIAA career record listings as she has now set the MIAA season record for RBIs (30) and home runs (8).
With the wins today, the Belles ensured themselves a spot in the MIAA Tournament in May. Only the top four teams in the conference get the right to play in the tournament, and the Belles will hold a tie-breaker over Hope if the two teams both end the season in fourth place.
The Belles (21-15, 10-4 MIAA) will wrap up their regular season this Saturday when they host Trine at 1:00 p.m. for Senior Day at the Saint Mary's softball field.