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Belles Sweep Brits in Conference Contests

Zoe Bruni, wearing a navy blue uniform and white helmet, swings at the softball.
ALBION, Mich. - The Saint Mary's softball team earned a 3-0 win and a 7-3 victory over Albion in a conference doubleheader on Wednesday afternoon.
The Belles got all of their offensive output in the top of the fifth inning. Krystal Harris led off with a single, and Alyssa Gutierrez drew a one-out walk to put two runners on base. Two batters later, Madelynne Keller drove in Harris from second with a two-out single to left field. JoAnna Keilman then delivered a big triple to right field to plate both Gutierrez and Keller for the 3-0 Saint Mary's lead.
The Belles had a chance to add to the lead after putting runners into scoring position in both the sixth and seventh innings. Megan Knudsen had a single, and Emma Deery added a two-out double in the sixth for runners at second and third. A deep fly out, however, ended the threat. Keller added a double of her own in the top of the seventh, but back-to-back outs ended the inning for the Belles.
Hailey Hisaw, meanwhile, retired the final six batters of the game - including back-to-back strikeouts - as the freshman completed the shutout.
Madelynne Keller went 3-for-4 in the opener with a double, an RBI, and a run. Megan Knudsen was 2-for-3 with a double. JoAnna Keilman drove in a pair and had a triple. Krystal Harris and Alyssa Gutierrez each scored a run.
Hailey Hisaw allowed just four hits and walked one with three strikeouts as she picked up her second shutout victory in the circle.
Game two saw the Brits jump on the scoreboard with two runs in the top of the first inning. A one-out single was followed by a triple to plate the first run, and a sacrifice fly by the next batter gave Albion the 2-0 lead. The Brits then loaded the bases with two outs, but a come-back grounder was fielded by Mandi Hettinger as the freshman got the force out at first to end the inning.
The Belles came back with three runs in the bottom half of the inning. Kelsey Keilman hit a lead-off single and stole second before an error on a batted ball by Keller put runners on the corners. JoAnna Keilman drove in the elder Keilman with a sacrifice fly. Hettinger laced a single to put runners at the corners. Knudsen then drove in Keller with a sacrifice fly to center field to knot the game at 2-2. Molly Mirabelli belted a double to center field to drive in Hettinger for the 3-2 Saint Mary's lead.
Albion plated an unearned run in the top of the second, but the Belles responded right away in the bottom half of the inning. Sydney Swartz led off with a walk, and Krystal Harris sacrifice bunted the sophomore to second base. With two outs gone two batters later, Keller laced a double to push Swartz across home plate for a 4-3 Saint Mary's lead.
After a quick 1-2-3 inning on defense, the Belles kept the bats alive with three runs in the third inning. Zoe Bruni hit a single, and Knudsen walked as the pair both advanced on a ground out by Mirabelli. Alison Alberts then drove both runners in with a single to left-center field. Another ground out allowed Alberts to move into scoring position, and a Krystal Harris single put runners at the corners. Kelsey Keilman added a single of her own to score Alberts from third as Saint Mary's went ahead 7-3.
Albion put a runner on second in the fifth inning with two outs, but Bruni shut the door with a strikeout to end the threat. The Brits then had runners on first and second in the sixth inning before a flyout to Kelsey Keilman in center field ended the inning. Down to their last at-bats, the Brits had runners at the corners with two outs before Bruni closed out the game with a strikeout looking as the Belles took the 7-3 victory.
Kelsey Keilman, Zoe Bruni, Molly Mirabelli, and Alison Alberts each had two hits in the game-two win. Keilman scored a run and drove one in, and Bruni scored once. Mirabelli had an RBI, and Alberts drove in two runs while also scoring once. Madelynne Keller and JoAnna Keilman each drove in a run.
Bruni earned the relief pitching win after going the final five innings and allowing no hits and no runs with five strikeouts. Mandi Hettinger had the no-decision after going the first two innings and allowing a pair of earned runs.

The Belles (9-16, 6-2 MIAA) hit the road again on Saturday for an MIAA doubleheader at Calvin starting at 1:00 p.m.