Belles Split With Nationally-Ranked Saxons
- Jamie Young, Makenzie Duncan, and Kayla Chapman had two hits each in game one.
- Mary Green earned a save and Sarah Burke picked up the game one win.
- Duncan and Cassie Young had multiple hits in game two while driving in three runs each and scoring twice.
- Morgan Raymer had a no decision after four innings of work and Mary Green suffered the loss in game two.
WINTER GARDEN, Fla. - The Saint Mary's softball team split results with the No. 11 ranked Alfred University squad, who made it to the final eight of the 2015 NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.
The Belles embraced the opportunity and did more than just hold their own against the Saxons. After Alfred scored a run in the top of the first inning of game one, the Belles plated three runs in the first to take the lead. Makenzie Duncan drove in Sarah Callis and Jamie Young with a double, and Duncan later scored on a bunt by Cassie Young.
The Saxons tied the game two innings later with a pair of unearned runs, but the momentum was short-lived as Saint Mary's plated three runs in the bottom half of the inning to go up 6-3. The top of the order continued to produce as Jamie Young, Makenzie Duncan, and Cassie Young all reached safely to load the bases. Jillian Busfield drove in Jamie Young with a hard grounder to the second baseman. Kayla Chapman delivered a single through the left side of the defense to push Duncan and Cassie Young both in to double up the Saxons.
Alfred pulled within a run a half-inning later with back-to-back doubles and a single, but the defense came up with the needed plays to limit the run output by the Saxons and retain the 6-5 lead. The Belles manufactured a run in the bottom of the fifth for some breathing room. Duncan hit a lead-off single and stole second before moving to third on a sacrifice bunt by Cassie Young. A ground out by Busfield was more than enough to plate Duncan from third to give Saint Mary's the 7-5 advantage.
Mary Green and the Belles' defense allowed just one runner to reach scoring position over the final two innings of play. The Saxons put runners on first and second with two outs in the sixth, but a backhand stop at shortstop by Jamie Young led to the final out of the inning. In the seventh, Green needed just three pitches to draw three ground outs to preserve the lead and end the game.
Jamie Young, Makenzie Duncan, and Kayla Chapman each collected two hits. Chapman drove in two runs, Young scored twice, and Duncan drove in two while scoring three times.
Sarah Burke picked up the pitching win after going four innings and allowing only three earned runs with a strikeout. Mary Green earned the save after scattering three hits over three innings with no walks and no runs allowed.
The second game between the teams was a slugfest from the beginning as the teams combined to score 21 runs on 22 hits. The Belles jumped out to a 2-0 lead after Eliese Hornberger and Jamie Young were driven in by Makenzie Duncan and Cassie Young in the top of the first.
The Saxons responded with three runs in the bottom of the first and one in the second to go up 4-2 through two complete. Saint Mary's turned the lead right around in the top of the third with three runs. Hornberger and Jamie Young began the inning again by reaching base, and Duncan blasted a triple to left-center field to score both runners. Cassie Young laced a sacrifice fly to drive in Duncan and give the Belles the 5-4 lead.
It was Alfred's turn to respond, and the Saxons pushed two runs across in the bottom half of the third to regain a 6-5 lead. Two innings later, the Belles got back on the scoreboard. Duncan drilled her second triple of the game, and Cassie Young drove her in with a double. Jillian Busfield and Kayla Chapman both drew walks to load the bases. Young easily scored on a sacrifice fly by Angela Dainelli to regain the lead for Saint Mary's at 7-6.
The Saxons, however, took over the momentum for good in the bottom of the sixth as Alfred sent 11 batters to the plate and scored seven unearned runs after an error-ridden start to the inning for the Belles.
In their final at bats, the Belles did not go down quietly. Cassie Young started the inning off with a triple, and Busfield drove in the sophomore with a sacrifice fly. But unfortunately for the Belles, the comeback effort ended there in the 13-8 final.
Cassie Young went 3-for-3 with three RBIs, two doubles, and a triple while scoring twice and driving in three runs. Makenzie Duncan went 2-for-3 with two triples, two runs scored, and three RBIs.
Morgan Raymer threw four innings and allowed only two earned runs while striking out two in the no-decision. Mary Green shouldered the loss after going two innings with no earned runs.
The Belles (8-2) close out their spring break trip in Florida on Friday when they take on Saint Joseph's (Maine) at 9:00 a.m.