WOMEN'S SOFTBALL: Belles' bats power a doubleheader win
By MOLLY MCVOY
Senior Staff Writer
The Belles hitting has come out of its slump.
With its batters leading the way, Saint Mary's swept another double-header against Franklin College on Saturday.
"With us being patient enough, we were able to take the first game, and we got the hits we needed to take the second," said head coach John Kovach.
Saint Mary's took the first game 7-3 and won the second 5-4.
The first game was a test of endurance for the Belles as they went three extra innings before winning the game in the 10th.
Junior Kristin Martin pitched the game, going all 10 innings and giving up three runs on five hits and no walks. Martin also recorded nine strikeouts in the game.
"[Kristin] kept us in it," Kovach said. "In her last two outings, I don't think she's walked a batter."
Franklin jumped to a 1-0 lead in the second inning, but Saint Mary's came back and scored two in the third. Franklin would not go quietly, however, and sent the game to extra innings with another run in the bottom of the seventh.
When neither team scored a run in the next two innings, the game went to the international tiebreaker rule. According to the rule, the last out in the bottom of the ninth for both teams becomes a runner on second base in the 10th inning.
This started the Belles off with Martin (the last out of the ninth) on at second to start the 10th. Kovach said teams usually bunt the runner to third and then try to bring her home, but he felt Saint Mary's had enough power to hit Martin home without the bunt.
"We gambled and we didn't bunt," Kovach said. "We were just gonna knock her in."
The gambled paid off when sophomore catcher Susan Kutz hit a RBI double to score Martin and start off the five-run inning. After freshman Katrina Tebbe reached base on a fielder's choice and freshman Erin Sullivan laid down a sacrifice bunt, junior first baseman Rachel Deer hit an RBI single to make the score 4-2 in favor of the Belles.
Freshman Holly Zeigler then hit an RBI single and was followed by freshman Mandy Hayes who doubled in another run to make it 6-2 Saint Mary's. junior third baseman Melissa Hayes added to the lead with a one-run RBI single.
"We hit when it counted," Kutz said. "We knew what we needed to do and we jumped on it."
Franklin came back and scored one run in the bottom of the 10th, but not enough to overcome Saint Mary's five-run 10th, and the Belles won the game 7-3.
The second game only lasted the regulation seven but was an equally well fought contest. Freshman Libby Wilhelmy pitched the second game and gave up four runs on five hits.
Again Franklin jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but Saint Mary's answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single by Hayes and an RBI double by senior Cindy Traub.
The Belles added one in the fourth on an RBI by Traub to make it 3-1, but, again, Franklin came back with a run to make it 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth.
"Cindy Traub had a great senior game," Kovach said. "She had a clutch RBI double and an RBI single."
The Belles added two more in the top of the sixth to give themselves a three-run lead. Franklin, however, came within one by scoring two runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth. Neither team scored in the seventh and the Belles won by a final score of 5-4.
"We just could never quite shake them," Kovach said. "We played really good defense and got the hits when we needed them."
All Sports Stories for Tuesday, April 24, 2001