SMC vs. Albion
Belles Sweep Season Finale
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Monica Palicki allowed just one run in 14 innings of work and Hayley Bojorquez hit a home run in her final game for the Belles as the Saint Mary's softball team swept Albion by 1-0 and 10-1 scores on Sunday.
The Belles broke a scoreless tie in the first game with the lone run of the contest in the bottom of the second inning. Morgan Bedan led off the inning by dropping a single into left field just inside the foul line. Kelli Spurlock sacrifice bunted Bedan to second, and the sophomore catcher moved to third on a ground out back to the pitcher by Angela Gillis. Kate Mitchell then hit a hard grounder to the Albion first baseman, who bobbled the ball, allowing Bedan to score from third.
Saint Mary's would get a pair of runners into scoring position in the bottom of the third inning as Lauren Enayati and Emily Sherwood both singled to lead off the inning. But a play at the plate two batters later saw the Belles come up short in trying to push across a second run.
Monica Palicki was dominant in the circle for the Belles and did not need more offense than a single run in the opener. After a perfect first four innings of retiring the side in order, Palicki allowed the first hit of the game for the Brits with one out in the fifth inning. She would allow just one other hit, and her defense came up with the plays to shut down the Albion offense as Palicki collected the two-hit shutout victory.
Lauren Enayati led the Belles with a pair of singles while Morgan Bedan added a hit and scored the only run of the game.
In game two, the Saint Mary's offense hit through the order on their way to posting six runs in the top of the second inning to gain momentum for the rest of the game.
The six-run second inning began when Morgan Bedan reached on an error. Kelli Spurlock then reached first on a fielder's choice, which retired Bedan for the first out of the inning. Angela Gillis laced a double into left center field, scoring Spurlock from first base. Kate Mitchell legged out an infield single to put runners at the corners. Mitchell then stole second, which gave Gillis the opportunity to steal home for the second run of the game. Kristen Nelson added a single up the middle to once again put runners on first and third. The junior moved into scoring position by swiping second. Emily Sherwood got in on the action by dropping a single into left center field, and both Mitchell and Nelson scored to double the lead. Hayley Bojorquez then delivered the final blow of the inning with a two-out, two-run home run on her senior recognition day.
In Bojorquez's next at bat in the fourth inning, she pushed a single through the right side of the defense and moved to second on a stolen base. Two batters later, she scored easily from third base on a single through the left side by Bedan.
Three innings after Albion scored their first and only run of the day, Saint Mary's added three more runs in the top of the seventh inning to put the game well out of reach. Nelson led the inning off with a walk and was followed by an infield single by Lauren Enayati. The pair moved into scoring position on a passed ball with no one out. After Nelson was out in a run down between third and home on a fielder's choice by Emily Sherwood, Hayley Bojorquez drove in Enayati with a fielder's choice. Katie Olejniczak later drove in Sherwood, and Bojorquez scored on a sacrifice fly by Bedan for the tenth run of the game.
Palicki continued to control the game from the pitcher's rubber in game two. She earned her 12th win of the season, the most of any season of her collegiate career thus far, with one-run, four-hit performance. Palicki struck out nine batters combined in the two games and did not allow an earned run.
Hayley Bojorquez led the offense in her final game by collecting three hits, including her 13th career home run, while adding three RBIs and scoring three times. Kristen Nelson was 2-for-2 at the plate with two walks and a run scored. Angela Gillis and Chrissy Porter both went 2-for-4 for the Belles with Gillis driving in one and scoring once. Lauren Enayati also added a pair of hits as she finished the season with an MIAA-best 23 hits.
The Belles secured their sixth consecutive season with at least 20 wins with the sweep as Saint Mary's ends their season 20-13 with a 9-7 mark in MIAA play.