Belles Split on Day Three in Florida

CLERMONT, Fla. - The Saint Mary's softball team came back after a 9-8 loss in eight innings against Bethany to claim a 10-5 win over Webster on Tuesday.

Against Bethany, the Belles fell behind 2-0 after the first half-inning of play after the Bison capitalized on a two-out error which had kept the inning alive. Saint Mary's took little time erasing that deficit, however. With two outs gone, Kayla Raymer drew a walk, Cassie Young singled to center field, and Jillian Busfield put the Belles ahead with one swing of the bat with a home run beyond the center field fence for the 3-2 Saint Mary's lead.

Bethany used two singles and a walk to load the bases with two outs in the top of the third before knotting the game at 3-3 with a single up the middle. The Bison regained the lead with two runs in the top of the sixth and two more in the top of the seventh to go ahead 7-3 and put the pressure squarely on the Belles' shoulders.

The Saint Mary's offense came up in a big way in the bottom half of the seventh. Makenzie Duncan had a one-out single through the left side of the defense and moved up to third on a double to center field by Sarah Callis. Duncan scored and Callis moved up to third on a wild pitch to make it a 7-4 game. Jamie Young executed a bunt while reaching on the fielder's choice as Callis was safe at the plate to make it 7-5.

Kayla Raymer singled to right field, and the Belles loaded the bases when Cassie Young put down a bunt single. Another wild pitch saw Jamie Young come across to score as Raymer and Cassie Young each advanced 60 feet. Jillian Busfield delivered the game-tying run with a sacrifice fly to left field to make it 7-7 and force extra innings.

In the top of the eighth, the Bison delivered a big punch of their own with a two-run home run to go ahead 9-7 before the Belles closed out the inning with a ground out and a fly out defensively.

Kelsey Richards came in to pinch run and started on second base to start the inning thanks to the international tiebreaker rule. The freshman moved up to third on a dropped third strike. A pop up to the Bison shortstop made it two outs gone in the inning before Richards scored on a passed ball strikeout, which saw Makenzie Duncan make it safely to first to keep the game alive. Another flyout, however, saw the Belles fall just short of the comeback by the 9-8 final.

Morgan Raymer went 5.1 innings in the circle and struck out three while surrendering four earned runs. Jessica Alberts came in to pitch in the sixth inning and went two complete with a pair of strikeouts and three earned runs. Sarah Burke closed out the final two outs of the game by retiring the only two batters she faced against Bethany.

Cassie Young went 3-for-3 with a walk and three singles while scoring a run. Jillian Busfield tallied the 19th home run of her career while pacing the team with four runs batted in. Sarah Callis had a pair of hits including a double. Makenzie Duncan also tallied a pair of hits for the Belles.

Statistics from the game against Webster were unavailable.

The Belles (5-1) are back on the field tomorrow when they take on Roger Williams at 11:00 a.m. and Heidelberg at 1:00 p.m. in Florida.