Belles Split with Flying Dutch on Senior Day
- The Belles matched their program record for conference wins in a season (12).
- Zoe Bruni picked up the game-two victory in the circle after five innings of relief work.
- Cassie Young went 3-for-3 in game two with two runs scored, and Kelsey Richards added a 2-for-3 effort with two RBI and a run.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's softball team matched their program record for conference wins in a season with an 8-6 game two victory against Hope after falling just short in a 1-0 game one final on Saturday.
The Belles had a chance to jump on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning. Jamie Young led the inning off with a triple down the left field line. The junior, however, was stranded at third. Morgan Raymer and the defense made quick work of the Flying Dutch in the top of the second as the side was retired on just three pitches. Alyssa Gutierrez got into scoring position with two outs gone after a single and a stolen base, but again, the offensive chance was shut down as the game remained scoreless through two complete.
Hope put a runner on second in both the third and fourth innings, but the Belles returned the favor of key defensive plays to keep the Flying Dutch off the scoreboard. The game remained scoreless until the seventh inning. Hope hit a one-out single up the middle, and a pinch runner later scored from second on a single to give the guests a 1-0 lead.
Saint Mary's had an opportunity to draw even or take the late-inning comeback decision. Makenzie Duncan led off the bottom of the seventh with a single to center field. But a double play by the Hope defense resulted in no runners being on base with two outs. A strikeout ended the game by the 1-0 score.
Morgan Raymer threw a solid complete game effort in game one despite suffering the loss. The junior allowed only four hits and struck out two while needing just 73 pitches in seven full innings of work. Jamie Young hit a triple, and Cassie Young, Makenzie Duncan, Alyssa Guiterrez, and Kelsey Richards each collected a hit.
In game two, Hope took a 3-0 lead through two complete innings for the early momentum. Saint Mary's came right back with a run in the top of the third. Three consecutive singles by Jamie Young, Alyssa Gutierrez, and Cassie Young loaded the bases with one out. Morgan Raymer then drove in Jamie Young on a sacrifice fly.
An inning later, Makenzie Duncan was hit by a pitch before moving into scoring position on sacrifice bunt. Kelsey Richards laced a single through the left side to put Belles on the corners. A sharply-hit ground ball to shortstop by Zoe Bruni allowed Duncan to score to make it a 3-2 game.
A three-up, three-down inning on defense for Saint Mary's made quick work of the bottom half of the third. In the next at-bats, the Belles took their first lead of the day. Cassie Young, Morgan Raymer, and Makenzie Duncan occupied all of the bases with just one out gone. Caitlyn Migawa came through with a big single just past the Flying Dutch first baseman and inside the right field line to plate Young and Raymer to put Saint Mary's up 4-3.
Hope tied the game in the bottom of the sixth with a two-out run, but the momentum was short-lived for the Flying Dutch. In the top of the seventh, Saint Mary's broke through with four runs to take control of the game. Cassie Young led off with a single, and Raymer dropped a hit into right-center field before Kelsey Keilman came in to pinch run. A fielding error allowed Duncan to safely reach first base. Migawa drove in Young with a hard grounder back to the pitcher as the Hope hurler had to get Migawa out at first on the play. Richards then delivered a rocket of a hit to the left side of the infield, and Keilman and Duncan both scored to make it 7-4. Bruni came up and dropped a single into center field. Richards scored after the Flying Dutch catcher made a throwing error trying to cut down Bruni, who had taken the extra base on a throw to the plate.
Richards then opened the bottom half of the seventh with a web gem of a play. The junior second baseman had a diving play up the middle to cut down a hard grounder before getting to her knees and throwing out the runner by half of a step. The Flying Dutch pushed two runs across in the inning, but a comeback grounder to Bruni for the force at first ended the game.
Zoe Bruni picked up the game-two victory in the circle after five innings of relief work. Cassie Young went 3-for-3 in game two with two runs scored. Kelsey Richards added a 2-for-3 effort with two RBI and a run. Caitlyn Migawa drove in three runs, and Makenzie Duncan and Alyssa Gutierrez each collected a pair of hits while scoring two runs each in the win.
The Belles (20-12, 12-4 MIAA) travel to Elmhurst on Sunday for a 12:00 p.m. CDT doubleheader against the Bluejays.