Belles Split with Spartans
- Cassie Young went 7-for-7 combined in the two games with four runs scored, a double, and three RBIs.
- Jillian Busfield added a 5-for-7 effort with her 25th career home run and three RBIs.
- Jamie Young and Makenzie Duncan each tallied four hits on the day.
- Sarah Burke threw a complete game shutout with six strikeouts in the opener.
NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. - The Saint Mary's softball team earned a 9-0 (6 innings) win in game one before ending on the wrong side of an 8-6 final in game two at Manchester University on Monday evening.
Game one was all Saint Mary's from start to finish. Makenzie Duncan and Cassie Young notched back-to-back two-out singles in the top of the first, and Kayla Chapman made the Spartans pay with a two-RBI double to right-center field to put the Belles up 2-0. In the top of the third, Jamie Young was safe at first and advanced to second on an error by the Manchester shortstop. Duncan then drove her in with a single just past the second baseman to make it a 3-0 game.
The fourth inning was a deal breaker for the Spartans' hopes of staying in the game as Saint Mary's hit through the lineup and plated four runs. Jillian Busfield led off the inning with a double, and Kelsey Richards reached on an error on her sacrifice bunt. Richards stole second to put two runners in scoring position, and Jamie Young delivered a two-out single to plate Busfield. Duncan then followed suit with a double to center field to push Richards across home. Cassie Young kept the ball rolling with a single to center field, allowing Duncan to score from second base. An error by the second baseman kept the inning alive on Kayla Chapman's at bat, but the Belles could not capitalize as the inning ended on a pop up.
Comfortably in the driver's seat, the Belles added two more runs in the top of the sixth to bring the eight-run rule into the conversation. Sarah Callis reached first on an error and moved into scoring position on a Jamie Young sacrifice bunt. Cassie Young then drove in the senior with a single to right field before advancing all the way to third after the catcher lost sight of the ball after the throw to the plate. That heads up baserunning led to Young scoring two batters later on a single to right-center by Caitlyn Migawa to put the Belles ahead 9-0.
The run support was more than enough for Sarah Burke. The senior right-hander was close to unhittable for the Spartans. Burke allowed just four hits - none of them extra base hits - and walked one while striking out six in the six inning complete game shutout victory.
Cassie Young went 4-for-4 with two runs batted in while scoring two runs in game one. Makenzie Duncan added a 3-for-4 effort at the dish with a double, two runs scored, and two runs batted in for the Belles. Kayla Chapman and Jillian Busfield each belted a double in the win.
The Spartans took an early 2-0 lead on a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning, but the Belles came up with a response almost immediately in the top of the second. Caitlyn Migawa led off the inning with a single to center field, and Jillian Busfield left little doubt on a two-run home run to center field to knot the game at 2-2. Two outs later, Sarah Callis singled to left field before Jamie Young laced a double to right-center. Saint Mary's, however, was unable to take the lead in that trip to the plate.
An inning later, Cassie Young doubled to center field and scored two batters later on an error during Caitlyn Migawa's at bat to give the Belles a 3-2 lead. A single by Busfield put Belles at the corners with just one out, but the offense stranded the runners at the corners to end the third.
Manchester regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning with three runs on four hits and a walk to make it 5-3. Saint Mary's came right back with a run in the fifth and two more in the sixth. Migawa reached on a fielder's choice with two outs before Jillian Busfield pushed a single to left field to put two aboard. Megan Knudsen came in to pinch run for Migawa before the Belles loaded the bases when Kayla Raymer drew a walk. Angela Dainelli was then hit by a pitch to drive in Knudsen from third to cut the deficit to 5-4. A fielder's choice ended the threat, but the momentum was shifting toward Saint Mary's late in the game.
In the sixth, the Belles regained the lead on four combined hits. Jamie Young belted a lead-off double to center field. Cassie Young then drove her in two batters later with a single to left field. A single up the middle by Kayla Chapman put runners at the corners for Saint Mary's. With two outs gone in the inning, Jillian Busfield added another single to left field to score Cassie Young while putting the Belles ahead 6-5.
A heads up play in the bottom of the sixth saw the Saint Mary's defense catch a runner between third and home to give the Belles their first out of the inning with two runners still on base. The next hitter for the Spartans, however, tallied a three-run home run to left field to put Manchester up 8-6.
The Belles got out of the inning without any further damage. The offense, however, could not generate any runs in the top of the seventh as the game ended by the two-run differential in favor of the Spartans.
Morgan Raymer was tallied for five earned runs on eight hits and a walk in four innings while having a no decision in the circle. Jessica Alberts suffered the pitching loss after closing out the final two innings and surrendering three earned runs on five hits.
Cassie Young remained unstoppable at the plate while going 3-for-3 with a double, a sacrifice bunt, two runs scored, and a run batted in. Jillian Busfield posted a 4-for-4 effort with her school record-leading 25th career home run, three runs batted in, and a run scored. Jamie Young went 3-for-4 at the dish with two doubles while scoring a run.
The Belles (10-9) are next slated to host Adrian on Tuesday, April 5 for a doubleheader starting at 3:30 p.m. at the Saint Joseph High School North Field Complex.