Belles Split with Flying Dutch
HOLLAND, Mich. - The Saint Mary's softball team took a 3-0 win in the opener before losing a heartbreaker 9-7 in 11 innings at Hope on Wednesday.
The Belles were in control from the get-go in the first game of the conference doubleheader, threatening with runners on second and third in the top of the first inning. Lauren Enayati led off the game with a walk and later moved to third on a single by Morgan Bedan, but the pair would be left in scoring position at the end of the first.
Saint Mary's broke through and got on the scoreboard in a big way in the top of the fourth inning. Callie Selner helped her own cause with a one-out double, and Jordie Wasserman delivered an out later with her third home run of the season for the 2-0 Saint Mary's lead. The Belles threatened again in the top of the fifth, but were unable to plate their third run of the game until the top of the seventh. Michelle Duncan led off the seventh inning with a single and moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Emily Sherwood. Duncan then advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a sacrifice fly by Kristen Nelson.
The three runs of support was more than enough for Callie Selner and the Belles' defense. The sophomore put together her second consecutive shut out by allowing just five hits over seven innings, walking none, and striking out one. The Flying Dutch were unable to get a runner past second base and only had two runners successfully reach second in the 3-0 Saint Mary's decision.
Wasserman went 2-for-3 with a home run, two RBIs, and a run scored for the Belles. Five other players all picked up a hit in the game one victory for Saint Mary's.
Game two was hardly as straightforward as the opener. Hope got on the scoreboard as they scored in the first, second, fifth, and sixth innings to post a 5-0 lead. The Flying Dutch appeared to be on their way to the split, but the Belles had other plans. Down to their last out in the bottom of the seventh and trailing by five runs, the Belles dug in deep and put together a two-out rally to tie the game. Callie Selner reached on an error by the third baseman, which put Victoria Connelly on second. Angela Gillis and Jordie Wasserman delivered back-to-back singles followed by back-to-back doubles by Michelle Duncan and Emily Sherwood to tie the game at 5-5 and force extra innings.
After neither team scored in the eighth, Hope took a 6-5 lead with an unearned run in the top of the ninth to put the pressure back on the Belles. Angela Gillis and Jordie Wasserman led of the ninth with consecutive singles, and the pair moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Duncan. Gillis then tied the game after scoring on an error by the Flying Dutch second baseman. With the bases loaded and just one out gone, Lauren Enayati put the ball in play, but Jordie Wasserman was out at home on the force out. Another ground out saw the Belles' opportunity to take the game in nine innings come up short.
With the international tiebreaker rule in effect after the ninth inning, Hope again took the upper hand by pushing a run across for a 7-6 lead. Again, the Flying Dutch were an out away from the win, and again, the Belles came back. With bases loaded and two outs gone, Victoria Connelly scored from third on an illegal pitch to tie the game at 7-7. The Belles had the winning run on third, but were unable to plate a second run in the bottom of the tenth to force an eleventh inning.
Hope had a lead-off single in the top of the eleventh to put runners on second and third on the throw to hold up the international tiebreaker runner at the hot corner. A sacrifice fly and a single later, however, the Flying Dutch posted a pair of runs to go up 9-7.
The Belles' comeback would come up short in the bottom of the eleventh as the Saint Mary's side was retired in order. The 11-inning affair marked the longest game for a Belles team since a 12-inning contest against Kalamazoo on April 20, 2002.
Jordie Wasserman led the Belles' offensive efforts in game two as well as the freshman went 4-for-6 with three singles, a double, and scored a run. Angela Gillis picked up three hits in game two with two singles, a double, two RBIs, and a run scored. Victoria Connelly, Callie Selner, and Michelle Duncan each added a pair of hits at the dish for the Belles.
Angela Gillis threw the first seven innings for the Belles on the way to the no decision in the circle. Callie Selner came in in relief in the top of the eighth inning and shouldered the loss while allowing just one earned run over four innings of work and striking out three.
The Belles (16-8, 3-3 MIAA) will take on Olivet on the road for a conference doubleheader on Saturday, April 14 beginning at 1:00 p.m.