Belles Set Back by Battling Bishops, Royals in Florida
- Jessica Alberts went the distance in the circle and allowed one run on four hits with seven strikeouts in a tough 1-0 loss.
- Zoe Bruni threw four shutout innings with three strikeouts and two hits against Bethel.
- Jamie Young and Kelsey Richards each collected multiple hits and scored in game two.
CLERMONT, Fla. - Playing their third and fourth games in less than 22 hours, the Saint Mary's softball team came up short in a 1-0 nailbiter against Ohio Wesleyan before being stopped 7-5 in their contest against Bethel (Minnesota).
In the opener against Ohio Wesleyan, the two sides combined for just seven hits and one run in a defensive battle. The Belles kept the Battling Bishops off the scoreboard in the second inning after Ohio Wesleyan put runners at first and third with consecutive two-out singles as Jessica Alberts shut the door on the threat with a strikeout. Saint Mary's tried to get a two-out rally of their own going in the bottom of the third, but Kelsey Keilman was shut down on the basepath trying to move from first to third on a single by Makenzie Duncan.
Ohio Wesleyan put a pair of runners in scoring position in the top of the fourth inning. Alberts drew an infield pop up and a line drive to second base to end the inning while keeping the game deadlocked at 0-0. Neither side was able to get a base runner past first until the top of the seventh inning when the Battling Bishops belted a lead-off solo home run to claim a 1-0 lead. Alberts made quick work of the rest of the side with a strike out, a fly out, and a ground out. The Belles, however, could not generate the late-inning comeback and suffered their first loss of the season.
Jessica Alberts went the distance in the circle and allowed one run on four hits with seven strikeouts. Kelsey Keilman, Makenzie Duncan, and Alyssa Gutierrez each registered a hit in the game for the Belles.
In game two, Bethel used a four-run first inning and a three-run second frame to establish a 7-0 lead as the Royals led the entire way. Saint Mary's started a comeback effort with a run in the top of the third. Jamie Young collected a lead-off single and moved to third on a fielder's choice and a sacrifice bunt. The junior then scored on a passed ball to get the Belles on the scoreboard.
Saint Mary's continued to chip away by plating three runs in the top of the fourth inning. Zoe Bruni had a lead-off single, and Kelsey Richards belted a double to put a pair of runners into scoring position with no outs. Bruni scored on a single by Emma Conroy. Alyssa Gutierrez drove in Richards on a suicide squeeze turned sacrifice bunt to make it a 7-3 game. Jamie Young then added a double of her own to plate Conroy with just one out gone. Young, however, was stranded at third after a ground out and fly out ended the inning.
The Belles put runners on board in both the fifth and sixth inning, but Saint Mary's was held without a run in both instances as the game moved to the final frame. In the top of the seventh, Makenzie Duncan led off the inning with a single, and Cassie Young followed suit with a single before getting caught up trying to move to second on a play on Duncan. Caitlyn Migawa drove in Duncan to pull the Belles within two runs. The comeback was not meant to be, however, as a ground out and a strikeout ended the contest with the 7-5 final score.
Mary Green shouldered the loss in the circle, and Morgan Raymer struck out a pair in relief as both pitchers were dealt three earned runs. Zoe Bruni threw four shutout innings with three strikeouts and two hits. Jamie Young had a 3-for-4 performance at the dish with an RBI and a run scored. Kelsey Richards collected a pair of hits and scored a run. Emma Conroy and Makenzie Duncan each had a hit while scoring once.
The Belles (2-2) take on UMass Boston and Anderson at 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., respectively, in Clermont, Florida on Tuesday morning.