Belles Fall to Scots, Eliminate Flying Dutch at MIAA Tournament
- Jamie Young, Makenzie Duncan, and Krystal Harris each collected a hit in the loss to Alma.
- Each member of the Belles' starting lineup successfully reach base at least once against Hope.
- Makenzie Duncan broke the school record for career triples while driving in four runs in the win.
HOLLAND, Mich. - The Saint Mary's softball team bounced back from a 5-1 loss to Alma in the opening game of the MIAA Tournament by defeating and eliminating host Hope by a 7-1 score on Thursday afternoon.
Alma got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning with a pair of runs with no outs. The Belles limited the damage, however, as the Scots had bases loaded with just one out after back-to-back fly outs to Kelsey Keilman in left field ended the inning.
Saint Mary's cut the deficit in half in the top of the third inning. Kelsey Keilman reached on a fielder's choice and moved to second on a single by Jamie Young. Alyssa Gutierrez drew a walk to load the bases. Cassie Young punched a grounder hard into the dirt, and the Scots' only option was to get the force out at first as Keilman came in to score. Makenzie Duncan nearly beat out a bobbled grounder, but the junior right fielder was called out at first to stop the tying run from scoring.
Alma plated a run in the bottom of the fifth inning to make it 3-1. Saint Mary's put runners on the corners in the top of the sixth with two outs, but the Belles were unable to push a run across. The Scots added two runs in the bottom of the sixth, and a three-up, three-down top of the seventh for the Belles ended the game with the final score of 5-1.
Jamie Young, Makenzie Duncan, and Krystal Harris each collected a hit in the loss to Alma. Cassie Young drove in the Belles' run, and Kelsey Keilman scored. Morgan Raymer collected her 100th strikeout of the season in a complete-game effort in the circle.
Host Hope scored in the top of the first inning on a one-out double and a two-out single. After getting runners on base in the first and second innings, the Saint Mary's broke through in a big way in the bottom of the third. Krystal Harris led off the inning with a single through the left side of the infield. Two batters later, Jamie Young dropped a single into center field to put two aboard. Cassie Young was walked on four consecutive pitches with two outs gone. Makenzie Duncan made the Flying Dutch pay for the free pass to Young as the right fielder belted her school record-breaking 15th career triple to put the Belles up 3-1.
The Flying Dutch put runners on base in both the fourth and fifth inning, but key defensive plays for the Belles kept the lead safe. In the fourth inning, Morgan Raymer got a strike out before Alyssa Gutierrez ended the inning with a ground out to leave a runner on second for Hope. In the fifth inning, the Flying Dutch had a two out single to start a potential rally. A bunt single by the next batter appeared to keep the inning alive until the the lead runner tried to go from first to third on the play. Raymer raced over to third base and had a diving tag-out of the baserunner to end the inning.
The Belles carried the momentum from the big defensive play into their next at bats. Keilman and Jamie Young hit consecutive singles to lead off the bottom of the fifth. Alyssa Gutierrez laced a single to the outfield and advanced to second as Young advanced to third and Keilman came in to score on the play. Cassie Young was walked for the third time in the contest to load the bases. Jamie Young scored on a dropped third strike play as Gutierrez and Cassie Young each moved up 60 feet. Kelsey Richards then delivered a big punch with a two-RBI single to left field to plate Gutierrez and Young for the 7-1 Saint Mary's lead.
Hope had a lead-off single in the sixth, but the Belles collected three consecutive outs to prevent the runner from getting into scoring position. In the top of the seventh, the Flying Dutch had consecutive one-out singles to put two runners aboard. Alyssa Gutierrez, however, closed out the game with a third-to-first double play for the 7-1 Saint Mary's win.
Game two saw each member of the Belles' starting lineup successfully reach base at least once. Jamie Young was 3-for-4 to surpass the 60-hit plateau for the season while scoring two runs. Kelsey Richards was 2-for-3 with two RBI, and Kelsey Keilman was 2-for-3 with a run scored. Alyssa Gutierrez posted a 2-for-4 effort at the dish with a run scored. Makenzie Duncan broke the school record for career triples while driving in four runs in the win. Morgan Raymer went the distance in the circle and surrendered just one run while scattering eight hits, striking out four, and walking none.
The Belles (24-14) take on No. 14 ranked Trine in an elimination game of the MIAA Tournament starting at noon on Friday. The winner of that game will then face Alma immediately following the completion of the contest.