Belles Stopped by Thunder, Make MIAA Tournament
- Cassie Young and Makenzie Duncan each went 2-for-3 in game two.
- Jillian Busfield added a hit and an RBI.
- Jamie Young posted a hit and scored a run.
ANGOLA, Ind. - The Saint Mary's softball team lost a 4-2 game two against Trine in their regular season finale after having the conclusion of the nightcap delayed from Saturday to Monday due to field conditions.
Game two began on Saturday in the ceaseless drizzle before being halted at the top of the fifth as water had pooled up on several spots across the infield.
Before the game was halted, the two teams were deadlocked in a tight 0-0 battle until the fourth inning. The Belles kept the Thunder off the scoreboard in the bottom of the second after Trine put their two batters on board with a hit and an error as the infield came up with back-to-back plays to end the inning. In the top of the third, Sarah Callis laced a one-out double to the left-center gap before a line-drive double play ended the offensive efforts for the Belles. The Thunder put a pair of runners on again in the bottom of the third only to see Callis catch a fly out to end the threat.
In the top of the fourth, Jamie Young started things off with a single down the left field line. Makenzie Duncan sent the first pitch she saw of her at bat back up the middle and into center field. Cassie Young then kept the momentum going with a double to left-center field to plate Jamie Young for the game's first run. The Belles were limited to that lone run after a fly out-throw out at the plate ended the inning for the Saint Mary's offense.
Trine then sent eight batters to the plate and scored three runs on three hits, two walks, and a pair of wild pitches in the wet conditions. Before Trine could take the field or the Belles could get their helmets on to step up to the plate, the game was halted as puddles could be seen on multiple spots on the field.
The two teams picked it back up on Monday at Trine's SportONE Field at 6:50 p.m.
The Belles were retired in order in the top of the fifth before the Thunder extended their lead with a solo home run in the bottom of the inning. Saint Mary's refused to go quietly down the stretch. Makenzie Duncan started a two-out rally with an infield single, and Cassie Young followed suit with a slow-roller infield single to put a pair on base. Jillian Busfield then laced a single to left field to score Duncan easily from second to make it a 4-2 contest. A come-back grounder to the pitcher ended the threat, but the Belles carried their momentum into the bottom half of the inning with a three-up, three-down stand.
Kayla Raymer led off the top of the seventh with an infield single of her own, and Sarah Callis drew a one-out walk to spark the offense in the top of the seventh inning. Trine opted for a pitching change, and the next two batters were retired to end the inning and the game.
Makenzie Duncan and Cassie Young each went 2-for-3 in the completed game two against the Thunder. Duncan had a pair of singles and scored once. Young had a double and drove in a run. Jillian Busfield was 1-for-3 at the dish with a run batted in, and Jamie Young added a 1-for-4 effort with a run scored for the Belles. Mary Green threw the complete game in the circle and struck out one while allowing just five hits and walking four.
The Belles (19-16, 9-7 MIAA) will continue their season with their eighth appearance in the top-four only MIAA Tournament starting on Thursday. The Belles finished tied for fourth place in the final league standings but gained the berth in the tournament by virtue of their win over first-place Alma earlier this season. Saint Mary's will face off against Alma in game two of the tournament, which will begin at approximately 1:00 p.m.