SMC vs. Hope
Belles Earn Dramatic Win in Game One, Fall in Nightcap to Hope
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Kelli Spurlock completed the Belles' come-from-behind win with a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning as the Saint Mary's softball team split with MIAA foe Hope, winning 5-4 in the opener before dropping the nightcap 6-0.
Visiting Hope got on the scoreboard early as a two-out home run drifted over the center field fence in the top of the first inning, giving the Flying Dutch a 1-0 lead after the first half-inning.
Two innings later, Hope doubled their lead. After a lead-off single and a passed ball, the Flying Dutch plated their second run of the game on a single back up the middle in the third. Hope threatened again in the top of the fourth, but after a solid defensive play by Emily Sherwood to get the lead runner out at third, Monica Palicki and the Belles forced the Flying Dutch into an infield pop up and a ground out to end the inning.
Keeping the momentum from a big defensive stop, Saint Mary's got a run back in the bottom half of the fourth inning. Callie Selner drew a one-out walk, and Morgan Bedan hit a single into left field to put Selner into scoring position. After a fielder's choice by Kelli Spurlock got Bedan out at second but moved Selner to third, Angela Gillis delivered a hard grounder up the middle for a single and an RBI as Selner scored easily on the play to cut the score to 2-1.
Hope responded with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning. With runners on second and third and two outs in the inning, Emma Page drove the pair home on a single up the middle.
Trailing 4-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, the Belles put together a one-out rally to put the pressure on Hope. Morgan Bedan beat out an infield single with one out gone, and Kelli Spurlock launched a hit into left center field to put the pair into scoring position. Angela Gillis then picked up her second RBI in as many at bats with another single up the middle to plate Bedan. Two batters later, Kristen Nelson delivered the second double of the inning as Hope's right fielder was unable to come up with a diving catch in the outfield grass, allowing Spurlock to score from third.
Still behind by a 4-3 margin heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, the momentum was back on Saint Mary's side in no time in the final frame. Emily Sherwood beat out an infield single hit between the first baseman and second baseman to start the inning off. Hayley Bojorquez then sacrifice bunted Sherwood into scoring position. Callie Selner then capitalized on the opportunity as she scorched a single down the third base and driving in the tying run. Morgan Bedan then bounced a single up the middle and advanced to second as Selner swiped the extra base on the hit. Spurlock then delivered the final blow with a single through the left side of the infield, allowing Selner to score the game-winning run.
Bedan, Spurlock, and Gillis each had multiple hits in the win. Bedan went 3-for-4 from the plate with three singles and a run scored. Spurlock was 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored, and the game-winning RBI. Gillis added a 2-for-3 effort from the dish with a pair of singles while driving in two runs.
Monica Palicki earned her fourth straight win in the circle for the Belles. The junior went seven innings, allowing three earned runs on eight hits.
The second game started much like the first game in that Hope notched a home run in their first trip to the plate, but the outcome would not favor the Belles as it did in game one.
The Flying Dutch added two runs in the bottom of the fifth and three in the bottom of the sixth for a 6-0 win.
The best opportunities for Saint Mary's to cut into Hope's lead came in the top of the third and fifth innings. In both innings, Kate Mitchell reached first base with one out, Lauren Enayati singled with two outs, and Emily Sherwood drew two two-out walks to load the bases. Both times, however, the Belles were unable to plate a run.
Enayati led the offense with a pair of singles in four plate appearances. Mitchell was 1-for-1 with two walks while Callie Selner was 1-for-3 in the loss.
Selner also suffered the pitching loss in game two.
The Belles (15-12, 4-6 MIAA) will have a quick turnaround for their next league doubleheader as they are scheduled to host Olivet tomorrow, April 29, beginning at 3:30 p.m. The Saint Mary's softball team is slated to play six conference games in the next three days to wrap up the regular season.