Belles Split MIAA Opener Against Bulldogs
ADRIAN, Mich. - The Saint Mary's softball team earned a 5-4 (8 innings) win in game one before falling 9-5 (8 innings) in game two at Adrian on Tuesday evening.
The Bulldogs posted an early 2-0 lead in game one with a two-run home run in the bottom of the second inning.
The Belles responded in a big way in the top of the third inning with a four-run outburst. Kayla Chapman led the inning off with a walk and moved up into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Kelsey Richards. Nina Vlahiotis laced a single to the outfield, which was mishandled and allowed Chapman to score. Makenzie Duncan dropped a single down the right field line to put runners at the corners. Vlahiotis then scored and Duncan moved to third on a passed ball to tie the game at 2-2.
Sarah Callis then came up and drove in Duncan with a single past the Bulldogs' second baseman. Jamie Young followed up Callis with a double, which plated Callis from first to make it 4-2 in favor of Saint Mary's.
The Belles lead, however, was short-lived as Adrian knotted the game with two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Saint Mary's defense cut the Bulldogs' rally short by ending the inning with a solid play when Jamie Young had a ground ball pickup to her backhand side and got the force out at first before Caitlyn Migawa quickly turned and fired home to get the runner at the plate.
The Saint Mary's defense and pitching kept the Bulldogs at bay as the next nine Adrian batters were retired in order.
The game remained tied at 4-4 until the top of the eighth inning. Jamie Young led off the inning with an infield single, and Cassie Young added a bunt single to put a pair on the base paths. Morgan Raymer came in to pinch hit and delivered an RBI single to right field to plate Young from second to put the Belles ahead.
Adrian started off the eighth inning with back-to-back singles, but the Belles drew three consecutive fly outs to end the game and claim the win.
Cassie Young was 2-for-4 in game one with a double and an RBI while scoring the game-winning run in the top of the eighth inning. Jamie Young was 2-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt. Makenzie Duncan and Sarah Callis each added a hit and scored a run, and Morgan Raymer drove in the game-winning run. Jessica Alberts earned the relief win after going three innings and allowing just two hits and no runs.
In game two, the Bulldogs started off the game with three home runs in the first inning to quickly take a 4-0 lead.
The Belles would not go down without a fight. After getting a few runners on through the first four innings, Saint Mary's broke through in the bottom of the fifth. The Belles sent nine batters to the plate in the inning, which resulted in five runs.
Kayla Chapman led off with a single and moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Kelsey Richards. Makenzie Duncan and Sarah Callis each added a single, and Chapman scored on the single by Callis to get the scoring started. Jamie Young put down a sacrifice bunt to move Duncan and Callis into scoring position with two outs. Cassie Young sent the ball off the end of her bat to shortstop, and the ball spun out and away from the Bulldogs' defense to allow Duncan to score.
Caitlyn Migawa drove in Callis with a short single to center field to make it 4-3. Morgan Raymer then drew a walk to load the bases, and Cassie Young and Nina Vlahiotis, who came on to pinch run, scored on a single by Kayla Raymer to center field to give the Belles the 5-4 lead.
The Bulldogs, however, plated an unearned run in the top of the seventh and scored four runs on a pair of home runs in the top of the eighth to claim a 9-5 decision in game two.
Duncan added a 3-for-4 effort at the dish and scored a run in the nightcap. Callis posted a pair of hits and scored a run while driving in a run. Kayla Raymer tallied two RBIs on a single in the fifth. Morgan Raymer suffered the loss in the circle after coming on in the first inning and going 7.1 inning with five strikeouts.
The Belles (10-6, 1-1 MIAA) are back on the field tomorrow when they host Defiance for a non-conference doubleheader starting at 3:30 p.m.