Belles Split League Doubleheader With Hornets
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Saint Mary's softball team won the opening game 9-4 before ending on the wrong side of a 5-4 game two final in an MIAA doubleheader at Kalamazoo on Thursday evening.
The Belles jumped out to a 4-0 lead through the first half inning of play in game one. Moranda Hegedus reached second base in the lead-off position on an error to start off the game, and Caitlyn Migawa made it runners at the corners after a fielder's choice off of the Kalamazoo pitcher's glove turned into a force out to get Kayla Chapman out at second.
Back-to-back singles by Cecily Reyes and Jillian Busfield allowed Hegedus and Migawa to score the first two runs of the inning. Reyes and Busfield scored two batters later on a two-out double to left field by Sarah Callis to put Saint Mary's up early.
The Hornets got a run back in the bottom of the first on a single, a sacrifice bunt, a double, and a sacrifice fly to make it a 4-1 contest through one complete.
In the top of the third, Saint Mary's sent nine batters to the plate and scored three runs on four singles and two walks. Migawa started the inning with a single up the middle, and Busfield added a single to center field two batters later. Callie Selner drew a walk to load the bases. After a line drive out to make it two outs in the inning, the Belles kept the offense alive as Angela Dainelli drew a walk to plate Migawa. Nina Vlahiotis then registered a single through the left side to score Busfield. Hegedus dropped a single down the left field line to score Selner for the Belles' third run of the inning to extend the Saint Mary's lead to 7-1.
Kalamazoo pushed a run across in the fourth inning, but the Belles responded with a run in the fifth and a run in the sixth.
Dainelli led off the fifth with a double and moved to third on a single by Vlahiotis. The sophomore scored on an infield ground out by Kayla Chapman for the Belles' eighth run of the game. In the sixth, Cecily Reyes hit a lead-off single, and Jillian Busfield and Callie Selner were both hit by pitches to load the bases. Sarah Callis drove in Maria Roberts, who was pinch running for Reyes, on an infield ground out to give Saint Mary's the 9-2 advantage.
The Hornets got a pair of runs back on a two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth, but the Saint Mary's defense retired Kalamazoo in order - including a 9-6-5 putout on a hitter trying to extend a double into a triple for the second out of the inning - to end the game.
Callie Selner earned the pitching win after going seven innings and allowing four earned runs on nine hits with four strikeouts. Cecily Reyes went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in the game one win. Sarah Callis drove in three runs. Moranda Hegedus, Kayla Chapman, Caitlyn Migawa, Jillian Busfield, and Nina Vlahiotis each tallied two hits in the win.
Kalamazoo claimed a 2-0 lead through the first half inning of play in game two with two runs on three singles, a walk, and a sacrifice fly.
Saint Mary's cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the second. Jillian Busfield hit a one-out double to the left-center gap, and Sarah Callis was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. The pair moved up on a wild pitch, and Callie Selner drove in Busfield with a sacrifice fly to left field to make it 2-1.
The Hornets had their biggest offensive inning of the day in the top of the fourth with three runs to establish a 5-1 lead.
The Belles plated a run in the bottom of the fourth to make it 5-2. Migawa drew a lead-off walk, and Reyes singled to the shortstop to put runners on first and second. Busfield drove in Migawa on a single through the left side. The Belles were unable to do more damage as Saint Mary's left the bases loaded to end the inning on back-to-back outs.
Saint Mary's made it a one-run game after five complete with a pair of runs in their next at bats. Hegedus had a lead-off walk and Chapman added a single to put a pair of runners aboard. After the two moved up 60 feet on stolen bases, the Belles had runners in scoring position with no outs. A pop up and an infield ground out later, Saint Mary's looked to cut into the deficit with two outs, and Jillian Busfield delivered a two-RBI single to make it a 5-4 contest going into the sixth.
The Belles were able to get a runner in scoring position in the bottom of the sixth but were unable to plate a run late as Saint Mary's fell by the 5-4 final score.
Sarah Burke shouldered the loss in the circle after going four complete innings and allowing five runs on eight hits. Jillian Busfield led the batting efforts in game two after going 3-for-4 with a double, a run scored, and three runs batted in.
The Belles (12-12, 4-6 MIAA) return home to host Adrian on Saturday, April 19 beginning at 1:00 p.m.