Belles Shut Down Vikings in Game Two for Split

Game One Box Score - Game Two Box Score

NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's softball team responded in a big way after falling 5-2 in the opener to North Park by shutting out the Vikings 4-0 on Sunday afternoon.

In the opener, the Belles defense stepped up early in the game to keep the Vikings off the scoreboard. North Park had the potential first run of the game on third with two outs gone before Callie Selner picked up her second strikeout of the frame to put the first half inning away. In the top of the second, the Vikings again threatened. Angela Gillis came up firing to home to cut down a runner and give the Belles two outs. On the next play, Lauren Enayati scooped up a grounder up the middle and threw out a runner attempting to score from second base to end the inning as Morgan Bedan held on to make the play at the plate.

The Belles then forced the Vikings to strand runners at second and third after Selner fanned her third batter of the game and Emily Sherwood cleaned up a grounder up the middle to end the inning.

Saint Mary's had a few of their own offensive efforts cut short early in the game as well as the Belles put runners in scoring position in the third, fourth, and fifth innings just to come up empty handed.

The Vikings started off the sixth inning with a pair of singles and a one-out single to load the bases. North Park then had a single up the middle to plate a pair and a ground out to the right side of the infield to push their third run across the plate in the inning.

In the bottom half of the sixth, Callie Selner reached second on a fielder's choice on a rundown play between second and third. Jordie Wasserman punched a single into right field to get Selner to third, and the sophomore then scored easily on a fielder's choice by Angela Gillis to get the Belles on the scoreboard.

North Park plated a pair of runs in the top of the seventh to go up 5-1, but Saint Mary's looked to rally late. Lauren Enayati laced a single up the middle with one out gone, and Morgan Bedan added her second hit of the game two batters later to get a pair of Belles aboard with two outs. Callie Selner delivered a line drive double off the left field fence, allowing Enayati to score easily from second and give the Belles two runners in scoring position. The rally fell short at that point, however, as Saint Mary's lost the opener 5-2.

Morgan Bedan and Jordie Wasserman both went 2-for-4 at the plate to lead the Belles. Callie Selner and Angela Gillis both drove in a run, and Selner and Lauren Enayati each scored once for Saint Mary's. Selner suffered the loss in the circle after going the distance and striking out eight and walking three.

Game two was all Saint Mary's from the start. Monica Palicki retired the side in order in the top of the first and second innings. The Vikings got their first hit of the game in the third with a single that bounced off third base, but the next batter lined out to end the inning. The Belles, however, had a big third inning. Emily Sherwood drew a lead-off walk and moved into scoring position on sacrifice bunt by Victoria Connelly. The junior shortstop then put the Belles on the scoreboard by touching home on a triple over the right fielder's head by Kristen Nelson. After Lauren Enayati walked and moved up to second, Nelson scored after drawing a throw by the Vikings' first baseman on a foul-out pop up. The throw went wide of North Park's catcher, allowing Nelson to score the Belles' second run. Enayati then scored easily from third on a single to center field by Morgan Bedan to put Saint Mary's up 3-0.

North Park picked up their second hit of the game and had a runner 60 feet from home in the top half of the fourth, but Palicki drew an infield ground out to end the threat and keep the shutout alive. The senior then retired the side in order in both the fifth and the sixth to keep the momentum in the Belles' possession.

In the bottom of the sixth, Morgan Bedan reached first on a fielder's choice and moved to third on an infield single by Callie Selner and a throwing error by the Vikings' third baseman. Jordie Wasserman then drove Bedan in with a single to left field to give Saint Mary's their fourth run of the contest.

After a lead off single in the top of the seventh inning, the Vikings hit three consecutive infield ground outs to end the game for the 4-0 Saint Mary's win.

Kristen Nelson was 1-for-2 with a triple, an RBI, and a run scored. Morgan Bedan was 1-for-3 in the win with a run scored and a run driven in as the Belles scored four runs on six hits and three North Park errors. Monica Palicki had an impressive outing as she threw the complete game shutout on just 72 pitches, allowing just three hits, striking out two, and walking none.

The win also marked head coach Erin Sullivan's 150th career victory at Saint Mary's.

The Belles (11-5) will be in action again tomorrow when they travel to Defiance for a doubleheader beginning at 3:30 p.m.