Belles Split with Bluejays
- Jamie Young went 3-for-4 in game one with a grand slam, four RBI, and two runs scored.
- Zoe Bruni went a 2-for-3 effort at the dish with two runs and earned the game one win in the circle.
- Kelsey Richards was 2-for-4 with a solo home run, a double, and two RBI in game two.
ELMHURST, Ill. - The Saint Mary's softball team won game one 6-3 before falling 5-4 in game two at Elmhurst on Sunday afternoon.
The Belles scored a run in the first inning and four in the second inning to take command of game one early. Jamie Young had a lead-off single and scored all the way from first on an error on Cassie Young's sacrifice bunt two batters later for the quick 1-0 advantage. In the top of the second, Zoe Bruni and Alison Alberts both hit singles to left field to put a pair on base. Two batters later, Jill Ackermann was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs. Jamie Young then sent a 1-0 pitch beyond the left field fence for the grand slam - the first grand slam of her collegiate career.
Saint Mary's put runners aboard in both the third and fourth innings but were unable to add to the lead until the top of the sixth inning. Bruni led off the sixth with a single up the middle. Megan Knudsen beat out a bunt for a single, and Bruni advanced to third on a throwing error on the play to put runners at the corners. A ground out to the right side of the field by Alison Alberts plated Bruni to put Saint Mary's ahead 6-0.
The Bluejays broke up the shutout bid with two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Cassie Young and Alison Alberts combined for the fly-out, force-out double play in the bottom of the seventh. Elmhurst tallied a run against relief pitcher Mary Green a few batters later. Morgan Raymer then entered the game and struck out the final out of the game for the save.
Jamie Young went 3-for-4 in game one with a grand slam, four RBI, and two runs scored. Zoe Bruni helped her own cause with a 2-for-3 effort at the dish with two runs. The sophomore picked up the pitching win after going six complete innings and surrendering two runs on seven hits with a strikeout. Megan Knudsen posted a pair of hits, and Alison Alberts had a hit, scored a run, and drove one in for the Belles. Morgan Raymer picked up the save in the circle.
In game two, Saint Mary's again opened things up with a run in the top of the first inning. Jamie Young hit a lead-off single up the middle and advanced to third on Kelsey Keilman's single to right field. Keilman moved up to second as Young drew the throw through the defense to open the extra base. Cassie Young executed a squeeze bunt to score Jamie Young from third for the 1-0 Saint Mary's advantage.
The Bluejays tied the game in the bottom of the third with a run on two hits. The Belles came right back with a run in the top of the fourth. After a first pitch ball, Kelsey Richards belted her second home run of the week with a shot over the left-center fence to put Saint Mary's ahead 2-1.
Elmhurst pushed two runs across in the bottom half of the inning to take their first lead at 3-2. Saint Mary's had a chance to tie the game again in the top of the fifth. Cassie Young hit a one-out single up the middle, and Morgan Raymer hit a single to center field to put a pair on base. Jill Ackermann came in to pinch run, but a grounder to the second baseman forced the freshman out while Kelsey Richards reached on the fielder's choice. A line drive ended the threat as Young and Richards were stranded on base.
Key defensive plays in both the bottom of fifth and sixth innings by the Belles kept the game tight. Megan Knudsen cut down a runner trying to steal second in the bottom of the fifth. Back-to-back catches in left field by Keilman gave the defense two outs in the sixth, and an infield pop up forced the Bluejays into stranding two runners to end the inning.
Needing at least one run in the top of the seventh, the Belles put together a two-out rally to take the lead late. Cassie Young singled to left field and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Morgan Raymer drew a walk, and Alyssa Gutierrez came in to run for Raymer. Kelsey Richards delivered a double to left-center field to plate Young. A single up the middle by Zoe Bruni then pushed Gutierrez across with the go-ahead run.
The Bluejays, however, hit a first-pitch home run in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game. Two batters later, Elmhurst ended the game with a home run for the 5-4 final.
Kelsey Richards was 2-for-4 with a solo home run, a double, and two RBI in game two. Cassie Young, Jamie Young, and Zoe Bruni each collected two hits. Cassie young added an RBI and a run. Jamie Young scored a run, and Bruni drove in a run for the Belles.
Jessica Alberts shouldered the loss in the circle. The junior pitched all 6.1 innings of play and struck out one while walking one.
The Belles (21-13) travel to North Park on Friday for a 3:00 p.m. CDT doubleheader.