Belles Split with Bulldogs
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's softball team split a conference doubleheader with Adrian, winning game one 5-3 in nine innings before dropping game two by a 9-4 score.
The doubleheader was originally scheduled to be played at Adrian but was relocated due to field conditions. As such, the Belles were the home team in game one - which helped set up a dramatic finish in the opener.
Saint Mary's took the lead in the bottom of the first inning when Emily Sherwood hit a single through the left side and scored on a single up the middle by Callie Selner. The Belles added a second run in the second inning when Kayla Chapman, who had reached on an error, scored with two outs from second base on a single to left field by Victoria Connelly.
Still leading 2-0 in the bottom of the fifth, Saint Mary's pushed another run across as Morgan Bedan scored from first on a Callie Selner double to right-center field.
The Belles looked to be on their way to the win as Selner and the Saint Mary's defense retired 11 Bulldogs in-a-row from the first inning through the fifth inning. Through five complete, Adrian had collected just two hits - a triple and a single.
That all changed in the top of the sixth inning. The Bulldogs scored three runs on three hits, including a two-out double to right-center field, to tie the game late.
Saint Mary's was able to get a runner into scoring position in the bottom of the sixth and seventh, but the Belles were unable to plate the game-winning run in seven innings. Likewise, Adrian had a runner on third in the seventh and bases loaded in the eighth only to see the Saint Mary's defense come up with big stops.
After retiring the Bulldogs in order in the ninth, the Belles took little time ending the game. Leading off the inning, Morgan Bedan reached on an error and advanced to second on an errant throw to get into scoring position. Callie Selner stepped into the batters box, and the Bulldogs appeared to be intentionally walking the junior. On the second pitch of her at bat with the catcher standing and set up on the extreme outside of the zone, Selner took full advantage of a pitch that did not miss by enough and blasted a walk off two-run home run beyond the right-center fence to lift the Belles to the 5-3 win.
Callie Selner went 5-for-5 at the plate with two doubles, the game-winning home run, and four runs batted in. The junior also picked up the win in the circle after allowing three runs in nine innings of work with seven strikeouts and no walks. Victoria Connelly added a 2-for-4 effort at the dish with a pair of singles and a walk.
In game two, the Belles picked right up where they left off with a run in the first inning. Emily Sherwood reached on an error and scored after back-to-back singles by Morgan Bedan and Callie Selner.
The Bulldogs were retired in order in the first, but Adrian struck for three runs in each of the next three innings to take all the momentum away from Saint Mary's.
The Belles chipped away with a run in the third inning as Sherwood scored again after back-to-back hits by Bedan and Selner. Jillian Busfield scored in the fifth after the Belles strung together four consecutive singles by Busfield, Kayla Chapman, Sarah Callis, and Jackie Martinez.
Down to their final at bats, Chapman hit a rising line drive home run to right-center field to give Saint Mary's their fourth run of the game, but the Belles' comeback attempt ended there.
Morgan Bedan was 3-for-4 with a double in game two for Saint Mary's. Emily Sherwood, Callie Selner, Jillian Busfield, Kayla Chapman, and Sarah Callis all had a pair of hits.
Sarah Burke was dealt the loss in game two after the Bulldogs scored six earned runs on 13 hits.
The Belles (14-12, 4-2 MIAA) host Olivet on Sunday for a conference doubleheader beginning at 1:00 p.m.