Belles Shut Down Hornets
- Jamie Young had five hits in the two combined games to lead the Belles.
- Makenzie Duncan took over the school record for triples in a season with one in each game.
- Morgan Raymer earned both pitching wins in the circle for the Belles.
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Saint Mary's softball team swept a crucial conference doubleheader against Kalamazoo by 1-0 and 7-1 scores on Wednesday night.
After being stopped with chances to score in the top of the first and third innings, the Belles broke a 0-0 deadlock with a two-out rally in the top of the fourth inning. Caitlyn Migawa laced a two-out single to right-center field. Morgan Raymer then came up and helped her own cause with a double to right-center to plate Migawa from first base. A Sarah Callis walk kept the inning alive, but the Belles were unable to exact any more damage against the Kalamazoo defense.
The Hornets nearly came back with a game-tying run in the bottom of the fourth after a double and a ground out put a runner on third. Raymer was able to draw a fly out to center field and pop up to second base to end the threat. The Belles then forced Kalamazoo to strand a runner at second in both the fifth and sixth innings. In the top of the seventh, Makenzie Duncan took over the top spot in program history for triples in a single season with her seventh triple of the year with two outs. The sophomore, however, was left 60 feet away from scoring with a line out to end the inning.
Kalamazoo made things interesting in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs already gone, the Hornets dropped a single down the left field line and drew a walk to put both the tying and game-winning runners on board. Raymer, however, closed the door on the comeback hopes with strikeout to end the game.
Jamie Young and Cassie Young each went 2-for-4 in game one. Caitlyn Migawa scored the only run of the game, and Morgan Raymer had a double and an RBI. Raymer went the distance in the circle and had the complete game shutout victory. The sophomore struck out six batters and walked just one while allowing five hits in seven innings.
The Belles jumped right on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning of game two. Saint Mary's plated a run on three hits and a walk as Makenzie Duncan scored from second on a single up the middle by Kayla Chapman. Two innings later, the top of the lineup continued to produce for the Belles. Jamie Young had a lead-off single and moved up to second on a ground out. A bunt single and advance on a no-throw to second by Cassie Young put two in scoring position with just one out. Jillian Busfield then singled through the left side to plate Jamie Young. Two batters later, Caitlyn Migawa punched a single up the middle to score Cassie Young for the 3-0 Saint Mary's lead.
In the fourth inning, Makenzie Duncan added to her school record with her second triple in as many games to plate Eliese Hornberger with two outs. The sophomore then scored on a wild pitch on ball four to Cassie Young to push the Belles' advantage to 5-0 through four complete.
Saint Mary's tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fifth and threatened to end the game via the eight-run rule. Migawa singled through the left side and gave way to pinch runner Megan Knudsen. Morgan Raymer singled up the middle and advance to second as Knudsen drew the throw by advancing from first to third on the play. Knudsen then scored after a ball hit by Krystal Harris was misplayed by the Hornets' third baseman. Jamie Young then drove in Raymer from third with a single up the middle. The Belles had the game-ending run on third with two outs, but a ground out kept the game alive for Kalamazoo.
The score remained unchanged until the top of the seventh when consecutive walks put a pair on base for the Hornets. Kalamazoo spoiled the shutout opportunity with a two-out single to plate a run before a runner was caught off base to end the game.
Jamie Young tallied her second multi-hit game of the evening with a 3-for-4 effort at the plate while driving in one and scoring once. Makenzie Duncan added a 2-for-4 performance in game two with a triple, one run batted in, and two runs scored. Caitlyn Migawa was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Cassie Young, Jillian Busfield, Kayla Chapman, and Morgan Raymer all tallied a hit. Raymer earned her second win of the day after going 6.1 innings and striking out seven with no runs allowed. Sarah Burke pitched 0.2 innings in the seventh inning and registered a strikeout.
The Belles (19-14, 9-5 MIAA) host Trine on Saturday, April 30 for the final doubleheader of the regular season. Game one begins at 1:00 p.m., and the five members of the senior class will be recognized in their final home game for Saint Mary's.