Belles Swept by Thunder
- Makenzie Duncan and Cassie Young each tallied two hits in the opener.
- Sarah Burke registered her 200th career strikeout in game one.
- Kayla Chapman had the lone hit for the Belles in game two.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The Saint Mary's softball team suffered 6-1 and 2-0 losses against Wheaton on Saturday afternoon.
The Belles jumped on the scoreboard first in the opening game. In the bottom of the third inning, Jamie Young hit a one-out single up the middle and moved into scoring position after Makenzie Duncan was hit by a pitch. Cassie Young then singled through the right side to plate Jamie Young from second. Back-to-back strikeouts, however, ended a promising inning for the Belles.
The Thunder immediately responded in the top of the fourth with two runs on a bases loaded double. In the bottom of the fifth, the Belles had a threatening inning cut short once again. Duncan laced a two-out double off the base of the fence. Cassie Young singled to the backhand side of the Thunder's second baseman, but Duncan was thrown out at home trying to score on the play.
In the top of the sixth, Wheaton posted four runs - a three run home run and a sacrifice fly - to push their lead to 6-1. The Belles were retired in order in both the sixth and seventh innings as Wheaton claimed the opener by the 6-1 score.
Makenzie Duncan and Cassie Young each tallied two hits in the opener. Duncan had a double, and Young drove in a run. Jamie Young scored once. Sarah Burke registered her 200th career strikeout despite suffering the loss in the circle. Burke struck out four batters and walked one while being charged with all six earned runs. Morgan Raymer closed out the final 1.2 innings of play and allowed just one hit.
All of the offense in game two took place early. The Belles got out of a jam in the top of the first inning. Jillian Busfield tagged out a runner at home on a suicide squeeze attempt, and the defense forced the Thunder into stranding runners at the corners to end the inning on a foul pop up to Caitlyn Migawa at first base. Wheaton got a two-run two-out single in the top of the second inning to take a 2-0 lead.
The Belles had a hard time getting the offense to fire in the nightcap. Saint Mary's had just one hit - a single by Kayla Chapman in the bottom of the fifth - while getting three runs on base during the game. The defense, however, kept the Belles right in the thick of things. The Thunder had just one extra base hit - a double - and three singles as several players made key defensive plays in the field for Saint Mary's. Jamie Young drifted well into the outfield to make a catch in the top of the fourth inning. Makenzie Duncan robbed two-out hit in the fifth with a diving catch in left field. Kelsey Richard snagged a pop up just outside of the foul line to end the sixth inning. Jillian Busfield cut down a runner trying to steal second to end the top of the seventh.
The late inning rally, however, was not to be for the Belles as Wheaton claimed the 2-0 final.
Kayla Chapman registered the Belles' lone hit in game two. Kelsey Richards reached on an error, and Jillian Busfield drew a walk to account for the baserunners in the game for Saint Mary's. Morgan Raymer suffered her first pitching loss of the season despite allowing just four hits and striking out three.
The Belles (8-5) take on Aurora on Tuesday, March 22 at the Stadium at the Ballpark at Rosemont - home of the Chicago Bandits - starting at 4:00 p.m.