Belles Battle for Pair of Comeback Wins
- JoAnna Keilman and Jamie Young each hit a home run in the Belles' last at-bats to secure comeback wins.
- Jessica Alberts scattered six hits over seven innings, struck out two, and did not allow an extra-base hit in a win over LaGrange.
- Morgan Raymer went the distance against Transylvania as she struck out nine to move into third place all-time in career strikeouts (255).
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Saint Mary's softball team scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth against LaGrange and three runs in the top of the seventh against No. 12 Transylvania on their way to a 6-3 win over the Panthers and a 5-3 victory against the host Pioneers on Sunday.
In the Belles' opener against LaGrange, the Panthers plated two runs in the top of the first and one run in the top of the third for a 3-0 advantage. Saint Mary's cut into the deficit in the bottom of the third inning. Kelsey Keilman singled to left-center with two outs, and Makenzie Duncan drove in Keilman with a triple to right-center field.
The Saint Mary's defense limited the Panthers' opportunities over the final four innings of the game as LaGrange was able to put just one runner in scoring position over the remainder of the contest.
Offensively, the Belles stranded a runner in scoring position in bot the fourth and fifth innings before breaking through in the sixth. Cassie Young and Bridget Sweeney started off the inning with back-to-back singles and stolen bases. With the pair both in scoring position, Kelsey Richards had a ground ball to shortstop result in an error which allowed both runners to score as the Belles drew even at 3-3. Two batters later, Alyssa Gutierrez hit a come-back ball to the pitcher. The Panthers tried to get Richards out at home, but the senior scored on an error as Gutierrez moved to second on the miscue. JoAnna Keilman then belted her first collegiate home run to plate two runs for the 6-3 Saint Mary's lead.
Jessica Alberts closed out a complete-game win in the circle with a three up, three down seventh inning. The senior scattered six hits over seven innings, struck out two, and did not allow an extra-base hit in the contest.
Bridget Sweeney went 2-for-3 at the plate with a pair of singles and a run. JoAnna Keilman was 1-for-2 with a two-run home run. Cassie Young, Kelsey Richards, Alyssa Gutierrez, and Kelsey Keilman each added a run.
Against No. 12 ranked Transylvania, the host Pioneers claimed a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a two-out two-run home run. The Belles broke through for their first run in the top of the fifth inning. Sydney Swartz started off the inning with a double to left field. Two batters later, Megan Knudsen drove in Swartz with a double of her own.
The Pioneers pushed a run across in the bottom half of the inning with a single, sacrifice bunt, and double. The Belles responded right away in the top of the sixth inning. Jamie Young reached on an error, and Kelsey Keilman hit a single to put a pair on base. A fielder's choice by Makenzie Duncan saw Young get forced out at third. A passed ball allowed both Keilman and Duncan advance 60 feet. A suicide squeeze bunt by Cassie Young pushed Keilman across home to make it a 3-2 game.
After a lead-off walk by Transylvania in the bottom of the sixth, Morgan Raymer registered a strikeout looking, a sacrifice bunt, and a strikeout swinging to strand the runner at second to put the Belles back up to bat.
Sydney Swartz started off the inning by reaching first on an error by the third baseman. A foul pop out and an infield pop out saw Saint Mary's needing at least a run to keep the game alive. Madelynne Keller delivered a clutch single between the first baseman and the foul line, and Swartz and Keller each moved into scoring position on the play. Jamie Young then sent a 1-0 pitch over the fence to put the Belles ahead 5-3 in dramatic fashion.
The Pioneers put a runner into scoring position with two outs, but a flyout to left field sealed the 5-3 victory for the Belles.
Morgan Raymer went the distance in the circle for the Belles while picking up the wing. She struck out nine to move into third place all-time in career strikeouts (255).
Jamie Young, Krystal Harris, Kelsey Keilman, Sydney Swartz, Megan Knudsen, and Madelynne Keller each collected a hit in the win. Young posted her third career home run while Swartz and Knudsen each tallied a double. Swartz added two runs, and Young drove in three for the Belles.
The Saint Mary's softball team (4-0) are back in action on Sunday, March 11 when they take on Scranton and North Park in their first day of competition at the PFX Spring Games in Florida.