Belles Split with Scots
ALMA, Mich. - The Saint Mary's softball team earned a 7-5 game one win before falling 5-2 in the nightcap in a pair of conference games at Alma on Sunday.
In game one, the Belles posted the first run of the game in their first at bats. Cassie Young reached on an error by the second baseman with two outs to keep the inning alive. Jillian Busfield made the Scots pay for the error with a single to right-center field, which allowed Young to score from first base to put Saint Mary's up 1-0 early.
The Scots responded with two unearned runs in the bottom of the second inning, but the Belles limited the damage. Alma had a runner on third base with just one out gone in the inning, but the defense came up with a big stop to prevent a successful suicide squeeze to keep the game at 2-1.
Saint Mary's came up with an immediate response in the top of the third inning. Sarah Callis was hit by a pitch and Jamie Young beat out a bunt to start off the inning. Cassie Young moved the pair into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, and Jillian Busfield was intentionally walked to load the bases. Morgan Raymer sent a rocket ground ball off the glove of the Scots' shortstop and into left-center field, which allowed both Callis and Young to score to give the lead back to the Belles. Caitlyn Migawa then reached first base to load the bases again on another defensive error by Alma. Kayla Chapman drew a walk to plate Busfield to make it a 4-2 game. Saint Mary's continued to keep the offense going. Makenzie Duncan drilled a line drive to center field, which was misplayed by the Scots and allowed Raymer and Migawa to score to put the Belles up 6-2.
Alma chipped away at the Belles' lead with a run in the fifth and another in the sixth to make it a 6-4 contest heading into the final inning.
Jamie Young collected her third hit of the game with a single to shortstop to get some offense started for the Belles. Jillian Busfield came up two batters later, and, after a lengthy at bat, delivered an RBI double to left field to score Young to put Saint Mary's ahead 7-4.
The Scots did not go down quietly in the bottom of the seventh inning. A pair of singles put two aboard with no outs before Mary Green struck out her fourth batter of the game. A double by the Scots pushed a run across and put the tying runs at second and third with just one out gone. Green and the defense came up big late in the game, however, as the freshman pitcher tallied her fifth strikeout before Caitlyn Migawa reeled in the game-ending out on a line drive to first base to lift Saint mary's to the win.
Jamie Young went 3-for-4 in game one with two runs scored. Jillian Busfield was 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs, a double, and a run scored. Morgan Raymer drove in a pair in the winning cause for Saint Mary's.
Mary Green earned the complete game victory in the circle. She allowed just three earned runs and gave up just one extra-base hit while striking out five and walking none.
In game two, the Scots scored once in the third, twice in the fourth, and twice in the fifth to establish a 5-0 lead as the Belles had a tough time getting the offense going in the nightcap.
The Belles were able to break through in the bottom of the sixth inning. Sarah Callis and Jamie Young led off the inning with back-to-back walks, and Cassie Young put down a sacrifice bunt to advance the pair into scoring position. Jillian Busfield drew the intentional walk to load the bases with only one out gone. Morgan Raymer drilled a shot to the Scots' shortstop, who was unable to make the play as Callis came in to score and everyone was safe. Caitlyn Migawa then came up and sent another shot to the shortstop, but this time the Scots got the force out at second as Young came in to score. The rally, however, was stopped short as the game moved to the seventh inning.
Saint Mary's retired the Alma side in order to keep the momentum going, but the Belles' comeback hopes were held up short as the Scots closed out the 5-2 final.
Emily Najacht shouldered the loss in the circle for the Belles. Morgan Raymer came in to finish the final 2.2 innings of the game and struck out a pair. Caitlyn Migawa had the lone hit in the game for the Belles and drove in a run.
The Belles (18-8, 5-3 MIAA) are back in action on Thursday when they host Albion for a conference twinbill starting at 3:30 p.m.