Belles Take Game Two for Split Against Scots
- Jamie Young was 2-for-4 and scored a run to help lead the Belles in game one as the team's 12-game winning streak was halted.
- Morgan Raymer earned her 13th pitching win of the season after a complete game effort in game two.
- Cassie Young went 3-for-3 at the plate in game two, and Kelsey Richards was 2-for-2.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's softball team bounced back from a 10-2 loss in game one to claim a 6-2 game two victory against Alma (NFCA Top 25 Coaches Poll - receiving votes) on Saturday afternoon.
The Scots jumped out to a big lead in game one after putting five unearned runs on the scoreboard through the first two innings of play. A solo home run by Alma made it a 6-0 game midway through the third inning, but the Belles were far from conceding defeat against the Scots.
In the bottom of the third, Alyssa Gutierrez led off the inning by lacing a single to right field. Jamie Young then beat out a bunt for a single, and Kelsey Keilman followed suit with a bunt single of her own to load the bases. Cassie Young hit a sharp grounder to the Alma second baseman whose only play was to get the force out at first as Gutierrez came in to score. Jamie Young then scored on a suicide squeeze bunt by Morgan Raymer to make it a 6-2 game. Makenzie Duncan drew a two-out walk to put runners at the corners, but the Belles were unable to inflict any more damage on offense in the inning.
The defense came up with big plays in both the fourth and the fifth to keep Saint Mary's within striking distance. Kelsey Keilman made a highlight reel diving catch in shallow left field to close the door on the Scots in the fourth. In the fifth, Zoe Bruni fielded a hard hit come-back grounder and started the 1-6-3 double play to end the frame for the Alma offense for back-to-back three-up, three-down innings in the field.
The Belles threatened in the bottom of the fifth inning. Jamie Young led off with a single to right field and moved into scoring position two batters later. The junior, however, was stranded at second in a contest where Saint Mary's left five runners on base. Alma plated two runs in both the sixth and seventh, and the Belles were unable to generate the offense needed to overtake the Scots as Alma claimed the 10-2 decision.
The loss snapped a school-record 12-game winning streak for the Belles. Morgan Raymer shouldered the result in the circle after going three complete and allowing just one earned run on five hits. Zoe Bruni closed out the final four innings in the pitching circle and was tabbed with four earned runs on six hits while striking out a pair.
Jamie Young was 2-for-4 and scored a run to help lead the Belles in game one. Alyssa Gutierrez had a hit and scored a run. Cassie Young and Raymer each drove in a run at the plate.
The Belles were the side to jump on the scoreboard first in game two. Kelsey Keilman hit a one-out single to left field and scored on three passed balls to put Saint Mary's ahead 1-0. On the defensive end, Cassie Young made an impressive diving catch in shallow center field for the second out of the inning. A grounder to Caitlyn Migawa at first base then led to the Scots stranding a runner in the bottom of the inning.
In the third inning, Jamie Young led off with a double to left field. Keilman then beat out a bunt single to put runners on the corners before stealing second base. Cassie Young added the third bunt single of the inning to drive in Jamie Young. Cassie Young stole second to put two runners in scoring position. Morgan Raymer came up and drove in Keilman with a sacrifice fly to left field for the 3-0 Belles lead. Makenzie Duncan then drove in Cassie Young on an infield ground out to put Saint Mary's ahead 4-0.
Alma got on the scoreboard in the bottom half of the third inning. A single, stolen base, and a fielding error yielded an unearned run for the Scots as the score stood at 4-1 through three complete.
The Belles came right back with a run of their own to keep the momentum. Alyssa Gutierrez drew a lead-off walk, and Kelsey Richards moved her into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt. A passed ball saw Gutierrez advance to third, and a single up the middle pushed the freshman across home for the 5-1 Saint Mary's lead.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Scots' lead off hitter ripped a deep fly ball to right-center field. Cassie Young made the over-the-shoulder catch just short of the warning track to secure the first out. A pair of infield ground outs then made quick work of Alma and got the Belles back up to bat. The top of the fifth saw Saint Mary's threaten to get more runs on the scoreboard, but a line drive double play and a ground out ended the chance for the Belles' offense.
Alma got another run back in the bottom of the fifth, but the defense again came up with the plays when they were most needed to stop the Scots from putting more runs on the scoreboard. Jamie Young added to the list of impressive defensive plays with a fly-out snag in left center field. The junior shortstop then coolly collected a line drive two batters later to end the inning.
The Belles added a run in the top of the seventh to regain a four-run advantage over the Scots. Cassie Young hit a one-out bunt single and advanced to second on a ground out on Morgan Raymer's at bat. Makenzie Duncan then ripped her school record-tying 14th triple to plate Young from second base.
The Scots put a runner on first with one out after a single to right field. The Belles defense again came up with the play to make sure the runner did not start a rally for Alma. Raymer induced a line drive directly to Migawa at first base, and the senior stepped on the base for the quick double play to end the game and secure the win.
Morgan Raymer earned her 13th pitching win of the season after a complete game effort in game two. The junior allowed one earned run on six hits and struck out one.
Cassie Young went 3-for-3 at the plate in game two with two runs scored and an RBI. Kelsey Richards was 2-for-2 with a pair of singles and a sacrifice bunt. Kelsey Keilman and Makenzie Duncan each posted 2-for-4 efforts in the game. Keilman scored twice, and Duncan drove in a pair.
The Belles (19-9, 11-1 MIAA) travel to in-state rival Trine for a conference doubleheader on Thursday beginning at 3:30 p.m.