Belles Take Pair from Knights
Game One Box Score - Game Two Box Score
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's softball team swept a conference doubleheader at home against Calvin by 1-0 and 7-5 scores on Thursday.
In the opener, Calvin looked as though they would get on the scoreboard first as the Knights had runners on first and second with no one out in the top of the second inning. Callie Selner and her defense came up in a big way as the sophomore struck out the next batter looking, forced a pop up on a sacrifice bunt attempt, and drew a ground out to third base to get out of the jam.
In the bottom of the third, it would be the Belles with a runner in scoring position. Emily Sherwood picked up the Belles' first hit of the game with a shot up the middle and found herself on second base with two outs. The junior shortstop, however, would not get any closer than that as the game remained scoreless after three complete innings.
The Knights had runners on the corners in the top of the sixth inning with two outs, but the Saint Mary's defense made a stand yet again to keep the game knotted at 0-0. In the bottom half of the same inning, Saint Mary's had runners at second and third with two outs, but came up empty-handed heading into the seventh.
Defense continued to be key for the Belles in the top of the seventh inning. After a one-out single and an error on a sacrifice bunt attempt, Calvin was poised to take the late lead with runners on the corners. Selner came up with her second strikeout looking for the second out of the inning. The sophomore then forced a ground ball back to herself to end the threat.
Riding off the momentum yet another big defensive stop, the Belles quickly put themselves in the position to end the game in the bottom of the seventh. Angela Gillis led off the inning with a single, and Michelle Duncan safely reached first on an error on a sacrifice bunt attempt. The pair moved into scoring position on a successful sacrifice bunt by Emily Sherwood. Kristen Nelson then delivered the final blow to Calvin in the opener. The senior lofted a ball into right field. Gillis waited to tag up, but the ball just escaped the reach of the Knights' right fielder, allowing her to score the game-winning run.
Kristen Nelson, Angela Gillis, Michelle Duncan, Emily Sherwood, Victoria Connelly, and Morgan Bedan all collected a hit for the Belles in the 1-0 win. Callie Selner earned the shutout victory in the circle by throwing a complete game, four-hitter with no walks and three strikeouts as she needed fewer than 70 pitches to pick up the win.
In the nightcap, Calvin put the pressure on early as they pushed a run across in the bottom of the first inning on a two-out double. Saint Mary's responded right back with two runs of their own in the top of the second inning. Kristen Nelson picked up where she left off in the first game with a two-out triple to right field to plate Emily Sherwood from first base. Lauren Enayati then laced a single up the middle, allowing Nelson to score easily from third to give the Belles the 2-1 lead.
Saint Mary's then doubled their run output in the top of the fourth inning. With two outs gone, Victoria Connelly picked up her second single of the game as Sherwood scored from second base. After Connelly moved to second on the throw home to attempt to get Sherwood out. The heads up base running by the freshman led to another run as Connelly was able to score easily on a double to right field by Morgan Bedan, giving the Belles the 4-1 advantage.
The Knights put together a two-out rally of their own in the bottom half of the fourth. With bases loaded, Calvin pushed three runs across on a fielder's choice and a single to center field to tie the game at 4-4.
The Belles responded right back with a big inning of their own. Angela Gillis and Jordie Wasserman started off the inning with back-to-back singles. The two both moved up 60 feet on a sacrifice bunt by Michelle Duncan. A wild pitch then allowed Gillis to score the go-ahead run as Wasserman moved to third on the same pitch. Emily Sherwood then bounced a grounder back to the Knights' pitcher, which was bobbled and allowed the junior to reach first base. Kristen Nelson sent another pitch into the outfield, this time to center field, and drove Wasserman in with the sacrifice fly to give the Belles a two-run lead. Sherwood then gave the Belles their third run of the inning after moving up to third on a passed ball and scoring on an errant throw to put Saint Mary's up 7-4.
The score would remain that way until the bottom of the seventh. A re-energized Calvin team looked to put together a late rally, but the Knights were only able to plate a run in their last at-bats as the Belles ended the game with yet another solid defensive play.
Morgan Bedan led the Belles offensive efforts with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate in game two with a double and a run batted in. Victoria Connelly, Angela Gillis, and Jordie Wasserman each went 2-for-4 while also scoring a run apiece. Connelly also drove in a run for Saint Mary's. Kristen Nelson had a pair of RBIs to go with a run scored, and Emily Sherwood scored each of the three times she made it on base.
Angela Gillis earned the pitching win after going the distance and allowing six hits while striking out three.
The Belles (15-7, 2-2 MIAA) will next be in action when they travel to Hope for a conference doubleheader on Wednesday, April 11 beginning at 3:30 p.m.