Belles Shut Down Knights in Sweep
- Morgan Raymer picked up both Ws in the circle while collecting her 200th career strikeout.
- Jessica Alberts earned a save in game two after three innings of shutout work.
- Makenzie Duncan and Jamie Young each had four hits on the day.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Saint Mary's softball team took 3-0 and 6-0 wins at Calvin to sweep the conference doubleheader between the sides on Saturday.
In game one, the Belles put all the offense on the scoreboard they would need with two runs in the fourth and an additional run in the fifth. Saint Mary's broke the deadlock quickly in the top of the fourth inning at Calvin. Kelsey Keilman hit a lead-off single through the right side, and Cassie Young delivered an RBI triple to right-center field to make it a 1-0 Belles lead. Two batters later, Makenzie Duncan added a triple of her own - the 11th of her career - to plate Young easily.
After a three-up, three-down bottom half of the inning, the Belles came right back with more offense in the fifth. Alyssa Gutierrez punched a single into right field and advanced to third on a fielding error by the second baseman on Krystal Harris's grounder. Jamie Young delivered a single up the middle to plate Gutierrez for the 3-0 Saint Mary's lead.
Three runs was more than enough for Morgan Raymer in the circle. The junior scattered three hits over a complete game shutout effort while striking out three and surrendering no walks. Jamie Young, Cassie Young, and Makenzie Duncan each drove in a run while posting a hit in game one.
In game two, the Belles jumped on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning with three runs for the early advantage. Jamie Young beat out a bunt single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Kelsey Keilman put a single through the left side of the infield to plate Young from second base. Cassie Young then reached on a fielder's choice which saw Keilman get forced out at second. Morgan Raymer put a double down the left field to get two Belles into scoring position, and Cassie Young scored on a wild pitch while Raymer moved up to third. A single to right field by Makenzie Duncan drove in Raymer to cap off the three-run inning.
Duncan led of the fourth inning with a triple to move into a tie for third place all-time in program history with 12, but the Belles were unable to push the junior across home as the game moved into the fifth inning. In the top of the fifth, Calvin had their best chance to score after getting runners on second and third with two outs. Jessica Alberts, who entered the game in a relief in the top of that same inning, drew a ground out to end the threat.
The score stood at 3-0 until the bottom of the sixth inning when the Belles sent nine batters to the plate. Morgan Raymer led the inning off with a single up the middle, and Jill Ackermann came in to run for the junior. Duncan picked up her third hit of the game with a single, and Megan Knudsen drew a pinch-hit walk to load the bases. Ackermann scored and Duncan and Knudsen each advanced a base on a wild pitch before Zoe Bruni delivered a pinch-hit single to right field to plate Duncan. After a pair of outs, Jamie Young hit a single to push Knudsen across for the 6-0 Saint Mary's lead.
The Knights threatened to get on the scoreboard in the top of the seventh after a pair of two-out walks, but Jessica Alberts closed the door on the game with a strikeout to complete the combined shutout win in the circle. Morgan Raymer collected her 200th career strikeout while earning the win after four innings of one-hit work. Alberts picked up the save after three complete innings in the circle.
Makenzie Duncan led the Belles in game two with a 3-for-3 effort, a triple, an RBI, and a run. Jamie Young added a 3-for-4 showing at the dish with a run and an RBI. Morgan Raymer collected two hits and scored a run, and Zoe Bruni had an RBI with a hit in her one plate appearance of the game.
The Belles (14-8, 6-0 MIAA) have a quick turnaround and host Albion on Sunday starting at 2:00 p.m.