Belles Sweep Brits, Reach 20-Wins with Combined No-Hitter
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's softball team reached the 20-win plateau for the first time since the 2012 season with 8-0 (5 innings) and 10-0 (5 innings) conference wins over Albion.
The Belles plated a run in the bottom of the first, two in the third, and five in the fourth while limiting the Brits to four hits during the game.
Jamie Young led off the first inning with a bunt single and moved up to second on an illegal pitch. She then scored after a throwing error by the Britons' pitcher to put the Belles up 1-0. Saint Mary's had a big threat to score more runs in the first by loading the bases, but a strikeout ended the inning.
After being retired in order in the bottom of the second, the Belles pushed a pair across in the third inning. Jillian Busfield reached first base on a fielder's choice before Morgan Raymer extended the inning with two outs by being hit by a pitch. Caitlyn Migawa delivered a big punch with a single to left-center field, which scored both runners and made it a 3-0 score.
The Belles pulled away from the Brits in the fourth inning by hitting through the line up and scoring five runs. Makenzie Duncan got things going with a double to left-center field. Jamie Young followed her up with a walk, and Sarah Callis dropped a single down the left field line to load the bases. Cassie Young hit a one-hop grounder back to the pitcher, but the defense was unable to make the play at the plate as Duncan scored on an error. Jillian Busfield then drove in Jamie Young with a hard grounder to the left side of the field as Sarah Callis was forced out at third on the play. Morgan Raymer followed up Busfield with a double to left-center field, which plated Cassie Young from second base. Migawa then came up and delivered again with a double to the right-center gap, which scored Busfield and Raymer for the 8-0 lead.
Jessica Alberts came in to close out the win by retiring all three batters she faced in the top of the fifth inning. Sarah Burke earned her eighth pitching win of the year after going 4.0 innings and surrendering just four hits while striking out four.
Caitlyn Migawa went 2-for-3 with a double and four RBIs to lead the offense. Morgan Raymer had a double, scored two runs, and drove one in for the Belles. Jillian Busfield and Jamie Young each scored twice in the win.
Saint Mary's picked up right where they left off in game two. In the top of the first, the Belles scored two runs on two hits and an unusual play. Sarah Callis pushed a single up the middle and moved into scoring position on a ground ball. Cassie Young drove in Callis with a single and moved up to second on the throw. On the first pitch of Jillian Busfield's at bat, the Brits' pitcher had a wild pitch, which advanced Young to third. No one was covering home plate as the catcher still held on to the ball near the backstop area, and Young took advantage of the situation by rounding third and stealing home all on the same play.
The offense erupted for six runs in the third inning as 11 batters stepped in to the box during the at bats for the Belles. Seven different players hit a single - Jamie Young, Cassie Young, Morgan Raymer, Caitlyn Migawa, Kayla Chapman, Angela Dainelli, and Makenzie Duncan. Raymer drove in two runs with her single. Chapman had an RBI on her single to center field. Dainelli drove in a pair with a single up the middle. Jamie Young also drove in a run on a sacrifice fly in her second at-bat in the inning to push the Belles' lead to 8-0.
In the fourth inning, the Belles increased their lead to 10-0 with a pair of unearned runs. Cassie Young and Jillian Busfield reached safely on defensive errors to start the inning. Morgan Raymer pushed a single through the left side of the defense to score Young. Jackie Martinez then drove in Busfield with a ground out to the right side of the field for the 10-0 score.
The offense was more than enough for Morgan Raymer and Emily Najacht. Raymer opened up the game with three solid innings of work. She walked two and struck out one. Najacht closed out the final two innings with a walk and two strikeouts as the pair combined for a no-hitter. It is the second time this season the Belles have had a combined no-hitter (Sarah Burke and Jessica Alberts vs. Juniata, March 8).
Cassie Young, Morgan Raymer, and Caitlyn Migawa each had two hits in the nightcap. Young scored three runs and drove one in. Raymer scored once and had three RBIs. Migawa scored once in the win. Angela Dainelli had two RBIs while Jillian Busfield scored twice.
The Belles (20-8, 7-3 MIAA) are back on the field on Saturday, April 18 when they host Hope for a conference doubleheader beginning at 1:00 p.m. It will also be senior recognition day for Nina Vlahiotis and Victoria Connelly, the two senior members of the team.