‘Belles to take on Midwestern State Mustangs in conference showdown
‘Belles hang on to confidence for upcoming competition
Published: Friday, March 22, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 21, 2013 19:03
The ‘Belles’ season has resembled a Richter scale reading with some ups and downs over the past month and a half.
The ‘Belles started the season with an 8-1 record on the road and then opened at home where they went 1-4 and were run-ruled in consecutive games.
Instead of panicking and losing confidence, the team managed to collect itself, and since then it has managed to win 11 of the last 14 games. They now stand tall with a 20-8 record with a 5-1 mark against conference opponents.
Their next test will be against the 20-6 Midwestern State Mustangs in Wichita Falls.
“They are hitting .400 as a team, and they’ve got three kids hitting over .500, and we’re 30 games into the season, so that’s pretty amazing right there,” head coach Travis Scott said. “We’ve got our work cut out for us.”
The ‘Belles are coming off a 1-1 home series split against St. Edward’s where the ‘Belles lost the first game 6-3, but won the second game in dramatic, classic softball style with a walk-off RBI single by senior outfielder Lauren Smith.
However, the play of the game belonged to senior catcher Kacie Easley and her rocket arm.
The ‘Belles jumped to a 4-0 lead early in the game and were on cruise control when St. Edward’s battled back in the sixth inning.
Junior pitcher Sandra Serna was touched up for three runs off of five hits, but a fielder’s choice and a popup made it two outs with runners at first and third.
Up at the plate for St. Edward’s was junior Lauren Brode, who had a .380 batting average and already had two hits off of Serna.
Nothing could make the situation better for St. Edward’s until they decided to get greedy.
Senior Marissa Thome, the runner on first, decided to try and steal second and took off for the bag on Serna’s pitch.
Easley caught the pitch and fired a laser towards freshman second baseman Ambra Hill.
Hill caught the ball that was perfectly placed just over the second base bag and applied the tag on the sliding Thome.
The second base umpire signaled the call; Thome was the third out and the inning was over with the ‘Belles still in the lead.
“In the first and third situation, they’ve got team speed so I was kind of expecting a steal,” Easley said. “Ambra did a great job of covering the bag and putting a tag on her.”
St. Edward’s managed to tie the game anyway in the seventh inning, but Easley wasn’t done making great plays.
Junior Morgan Spearman started the inning with a base hit up the middle and freshman Maddy McGarity made a sacrifice bunt that moved Spearman to second.
Now Easley was at the plate with one out and she drove the first pitch to right field that moved Spearman to third and set up the walk-off hit that Lauren Smith made that gave the Rams the 5-4 win.
If the ‘Belles keep playing like they did in the second game against St. Edward’s, the .400 hitting Mustangs won’t be able to say they are better than the ‘Belles.
The first game starts on Friday, March 22, at 7 p.m. in Wichita Falls.