Belles Sweep Yellow Jackets as Busfield Matches School Record
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - A home run in each game for the Saint Mary's softball team helped lift the Belles to a doubleheader sweep of Defiance by 8-5 and 5-2 scores on Wednesday evening.
The Belles had to battle their way back from an early 5-0 deficit as the visiting Yellow Jackets plated four runs in the top of the first inning and one more in the top of the third inning.
In the bottom of the third, the tide turned toward Saint Mary's. Angela Dainelli started off the inning by reaching first on an error by the Defiance second baseman. Makenzie Duncan then took little time putting two runs on the scoreboard with an opposite field home run to make it a 5-2 game. The gears continued to move for the Belles' offense. Jamie Young reached first on a fielder's choice, Cassie Young singled, and Jillian Busfield drew an intentional walk to load the bases with just one out gone. Caitlyn Migawa send the ball solidly to left field, where the Yellow Jackets dropped what had appeared to be an out as Jamie Young came across to score. Kayla Raymer then pulled the Belles within a run of Defiance with a sacrifice fly to left field, which plated Cassie Young from third.
The Belles added a run in the fourth, two runs in the fifth, and another run in the sixth to take the lead away from the Yellow Jackets. Duncan led off the fourth with a single, moved into scoring position on a defensive error, and scored on a single by Jamie Young to tie the game.
Saint Mary's put together a two-out rally in the fifth to pull ahead. Kayla Raymer had a lead-off single, Duncan stayed hot at the plate with a two-out double while driving in Raymer, and Sarah Callis drove in Duncan with a single through the right side.
The Belles added an insurance run in the sixth when Jillian Busfield, who had reached on an error and moved to third on another error, scored on a sacrifice fly by Kayla Chapman to make it an 8-5 score. Jessica Alberts and the defense closed out the win with a strikeout and two infield ground outs in the top of the seventh.
Makenzie Duncan went 3-for-3 with a home run, a double,three RBIs, and three runs scored while kick-starting the offense in game one for a come-from-behind victory. Sarah Callis added two hits and an RBI, and Cassie Young had two hits while scoring a run. Jessica Alberts earned her second relief pitching win in as many days after allowing no runs on one hit over three innings in the circle.
The Belles kept the Yellow Jackets off the scoreboard in the second and third innings by forcing Defiance into stranding a runner on third with less than two outs in each of those innings.
Saint Mary's then struck first in a big way in the bottom of the third inning. Jamie Young and Cassie Young had back-to-back one-out singles, and Jillian Busfield blasted an opposite field home run of her own to make it 3-0.
An inning later, Makenzie Duncan had a lead-off double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Sarah Callis. Duncan was able to score from 60 feet away on a sacrifice fly to right field off the bat of Jamie Young to put the Belles up 4-0.
Saint Mary's capitalized on another miscue by the defense in the bottom of the fifth. Busfield started off the inning with a single and moved to second on a fielding error by the right fielder. After a ground out to the right side moved the junior up to third, Kayla Raymer drove her home with a single past the third baseman to make it a 5-0 game through five complete.
The Yellow Jackets broke up the shutout in the top of the sixth inning with two runs, but Mary Green was close to un-hittable in a relief appearance in the circle. The freshman righthander came in after the first two hitters in the sixth reached on singles. After allowing a single, Green rung up three consecutive strikeouts to end the inning. She then clinched the win for the Belles with a pair of ground outs to shortstop and a strikeout to end the game in the seventh.
Jillian Busfield was 2-for-2 in game two and hit her 22nd career home run, which ties her with Ashley Peterson for the school record. She also added a single, walked twice, and scored two runs. Jamie Young was 2-for-2 with two singles, an RBI, and a run scored. Morgan Raymer picked up the pitching win after surrendering just two runs and striking out six in five-plus innings in the circle.
The Belles (12-6) travel to Calvin on Saturday, April 4 for a conference doubleheader against the Knights beginning at 1:00 p.m.