Belles Split to Open Season
CAPE CORAL, Fla. - The Saint Mary's softball team lost an extra-inning contest against Drew before claiming a victory over Wartburg to open the 2014 season on Sunday.
In the season opener against Drew, the Belles broke the 0-0 deadlock with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Moranda Hegedus led off the inning with a double down the left field line. Kayla Chapman followed Hegedus with a single through the left side and moved into scoring position as Hegedus drew the throw home on the play. A few pitches later, Hegedus scored on a passed ball while Chapman scored on the same play after an errant throw by the Drew catcher on the attempt to get Hegedus out at the plate ended up going to first base.
The game remained 2-0 in favor of the Belles until the top of the sixth inning. The Rangers cut the lead in half on a one-out RBI single that caught the right foul line just into the outfield grass. The next batter up for Drew sent a double down the left field line after it bounced over the third base bag to plate their second run of the game and tie the score at 2-2.
After neither team was able to put another run on the board in the seventh, the international tie-breaker rule went into effect in the eighth inning. The Rangers plated both of their go-ahead runs in the top of the eighth with a two-out single that found its way between three fielders in left field.
The Belles threatened to keep the game alive in the bottom half of the inning but were unable to push any runs across in the 4-2 final.
Kayla Chapman went 3-for-4 at the plate with a triple to lead the Belles' offensive efforts. Callie Selner shouldered the tough pitching loss in the circle after striking out 11 and allowing three earned runs while going the distance.
Saint Mary's came out with a vengeance in the second game of the day. The Belles pushed five runs across the plate in the top of the first inning against Wartburg to set the tone early.
The Belles posted those five runs on four hits and a pair of errors by the Knights. Sarah Callis, Caitlyn Migawa, Jillian Busfield, and Angela Dainelli all tallied singles in the inning to give Saint Mary's the momentum.
Wartburg erased the shutout with a run in the bottom of the fourth inning and tied the game at 5-5 in the bottom of the fifth with a two-run double and a two-run home run.
The Belles responded in the top of the seventh inning with a two-out, two-run rally. Back-to-back-to-back hits by Chapman, Migawa, and Busfield put Saint Mary's back on top 6-5 before an error on the following play allowed the Belles to push that lead to 7-5.
Saint Mary's retired the side in order in the bottom of the seventh to take their first win of the 2014 season while also giving head coach Kelli Zache her first victory at the helm of the program.
Sarah Callis, Caitlyn Migawa, and Jillian Busfield all posted two hits for the Belles. Callis and Busfield each scored a run, Migawa touched home twice, and Busfield drove in a pair while posting the Belles' lone extra base hit of the game - a double.
Sarah Burke picked up the win in the circle while tallying 10 strikeouts and walking two in seven innings of work.
The Belles (1-1) take on Stevens Institute of Technology and Franklin & Marshall on Monday afternoon at the Gene Cusic Classic in Florida.