Belles Open MIAA Play With Sweep of Brits
ALBION, Mich. - The Saint Mary's softball team took both ends of their first MIAA doubleheader of the 2014 season by 8-6 and 8-2 scores at Albion on Sunday afternoon.
The Belles got on the scoreboard in a big way in the top of the second inning of game one. Callie Selner led off with a single, and Jillian Busfield blasted a home run to center field to give Saint Mary's the 2-0 advantage.
Two innings later, the Belles took control of the game with a six-run outburst in the top of the fourth inning. Saint Mary's sent 12 batters to the plate and pushed six runs across on seven hits and two errors by the Brits. Kayla Chapman drove in a run with a single down the left field line, Caitlyn Migawa hit in a pair with a single up the middle, and Cecily Reyes sent a run home with a single through the left side to lead the offensive efforts in the inning.
The Brits took a chunk out of that Saint Mary's advantage with a three-run bottom of the fourth. Two of the three runs Albion put up in the inning were unearned. Albion cut the initial 8-0 deficit in half with a run in the bottom of the fifth to make it an 8-4 game going into the sixth inning.
The Belles stranded a runner on third in the top of the sixth, and Albion continued to apply the pressure with two more runs in the bottom half of the inning to make it 8-6 as both teams headed to their final at bats.
Saint Mary's, however, shut down the Albion momentum in commanding style in the bottom of the seventh inning as Callie Selner struck out back-to-back batters in relief to end the game and give the Belles the win.
Sarah Burke picked up the game one win in the circle after going five innings, scattering seven hits, allowing three earned runs, and striking out five. Selner pitched the final two innings in relief and struck out a pair.
Burke went 3-for-4 at the plate with a run scored in the opener. Kayla Chapman, Callie Selner, and Cecily Reyes each added two hits while also each scoring a run.
Game two saw the Belles jump out to the early lead yet again. With runners on second and third with two outs, Jillian Busfield continued her strong contributions at the plate with a two RBI single to plate Migawa and Chapman in the bottom of the first inning.
The Belles had another big inning at the dish by scoring five runs in the bottom of the second in efficient fashion. Saint Mary's tallied five singles and a double on their way to the five-run effort. Sarah Burke, Angela Dainelli, and Sarah Callis started the inning with consecutive singles. Caitlyn Migawa and Callie Selner added back-to-back singles with two outs to keep the momentum going, and Cecily Reyes capped off the hitting with a bases loaded double as Dainelli, Callis, Kayla Chapman, Migawa, and Selner all scored in the inning.
Albion erased the shutout with a two-run home run in the top of the third inning. The Brits threatened to push more runs across as Albion loaded the bases with one out in that same inning, but the Belles got out of a jam with a line drive double play.
From that play on through the rest of the game, pitcher Callie Selner and the Saint Mary's defense faced just two batters more than the minimum over the final four innings.
Callie Selner earned the pitching win in game two after giving up two earned runs on nine hits while striking out seven.
Cecily Reyes continued her solid day at the plate in game two with a 2-for-3 effort with two doubles and three RBIs. Jillian Busfield also added a 2-for-3 performance at the dish with a two-run home run. Angela Dainelli and Sarah Callis both went 2-for-3 and each scored a run for the Belles in the game two victory.
The Belles (10-6, 2-0 MIAA) return to action on Wednesday, April 8 when they travel to Hope for a conference doubleheader against the Flying Dutch beginning at 3:30 p.m.