Belles Take Two Wins on Opening Day
- Makenzie Duncan went 3-for-3 with a two-run home run against Saint Joseph's.
- Sarah Burke and Jessica Alberts combined to strike out 13 batters out of the 15 outs in game one.
- Four hitters had two hits each in the win against Bethany.
- Morgan Raymer threw the complete game victory with eight strikeouts in game two.
WINTER GARDEN, Fla. - The Saint Mary's softball team claimed an 11-2 win over Saint Joseph's (Maine) in five innings before defeating Bethany (W.Va.) by a 7-1 score on the opening day of their 2016 season on Sunday.
The Belles erupted with six runs in the top of the first inning to set the tone early against Saint Joseph's. Makeznie Duncan blasted a two-run home run while the Belles collected five hits and capitalized on an error while sending ten hitters to the plate in the top of the first inning.
Two runs in the second and one run in each of the third, fourth, and fifth innings propelled the team to the 11-0 lead. Duncan drilled a double to right-center field and scored on a lapse in attention by the Monks' defense in the second inning. Cassie Young followed up with a single, stole second before moving to third on a throwing error on the stolen base, and scored on a single between the third baseman and the foul line for the 8-0 Saint Mary's advantage. Sarah Callis scored easily on a single by Duncan after a one-out triple in the third inning. Busfield started the fourth with a walk, advanced to second on a passed ball, moved to third on a single by Caitlyn Migawa, and scored on a double by Kayla Raymer. Callis scored the Belles' final run in the fifth after leading off with a walk, advancing to second on sacrifice bunt, and touching home on a double by Emma Conroy in the freshman's first at bat.
Two runs in the bottom of the fifth by the Monks were not enough to sway the momentum or cut into the lead enough to extend the game as the Belles prevailed 11-2.
Duncan went 3-for-3 with a home run, a triple, and a single with three runs batted in and two runs scored. Sarah Callis, Jillian Busfield, and Caitlyn Migawa each added 2-for-3 efforts at the dish. Callis had a triple and scored three runs while Busfield and Migawa each had a pair of singles.
Sarah Burke and Jessica Alberts were nearly unstoppable in the pitching circle against Saint Joseph's. Burke recorded the first nine outs of the game via strikeout while allowing only one hit and four walks with no runs allowed through three innings. Alberts came on in the fourth inning and picked up four more strikeouts to close out the win.
In game two, Bethany took the 1-0 lead through the first half-inning of play only to see the Belles tie the score 1-1 by the end of the first inning. Callis led off with a single to shortstop and moved up 60 feet on a sacrifice bunt by Jamie Young. Two batters later, Callis scored from second on a single to center field by Cassie Young to tie the game at one run apiece.
In the top of the fourth, Morgan Raymer, Jamie Young, and Caitlyn Migawa connected for the 1-6-3 double play before Raymer tallied a strikeout to shut down what might have been a promising inning for the Bison. That defense helped jump start the offense in the bottom half of the inning. Busfield dropped a lead off single into center field, and Megan Knudsen came on to pinch run for the senior catcher. A sacrifice bunt turned error by Chapman put a pair on board for the Belles. Conroy delivered a sacrifice fly to easily plate Knudsen, and Kelsey Richards laced a single to shortstop to push Chapman across for the 3-1 Saint Mary's lead.
The Belles extended the lead to 7-1 after five complete to take over the game for good. Jamie Young, Makenzie Duncan, Cassie Young, and Jillian Busfield all reached base and scored as Saint Mary's pushed four runs across on three hits and two Bethany errors.
Sarah Callis, Jamie Young, Cassie Young, and Jillian Busfield each had two hits while Kayla Chapman had a pair of sacrifices as all five scored a run in the win. Makenzie Duncan registered the Belles' lone extra-base hit with a triple.
Morgan Raymer threw the complete game in the circle and struck out eight. The defense came up with double plays in both the fourth and seventh inning to help keep the Bison off the scoreboard while Raymer surrendered just one run and walked only one batter.
The Belles (2-0) square off against Ohio Wesleyan and Wittenberg at Hancock Park in Clermont, Florida on Monday, March 7 at 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., respectively.