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Belles Narrowly Edged Out Twice in Arizona Debut

Megan Knudsen, wearing a blue uniform and white helmet, holds a bat and is ready to hit.
TUCSON, Ariz. - The Saint Mary's softball team lost a 5-4 contest to Dickinson before coming up short in a 2-0 final against Cornell (Iowa) in their first day of action at the Tucson Invitational Games on Sunday.
The Belles took a 1-0 lead through the first inning against Dickinson on Sunday. Kelsey Keilman led off with a single and stole second base before being driven in two batters later on a single by Krystal Harris. The Red Devils came back with a run in the bottom of the first and three in the bottom of the third for a 4-1 advantage.
Saint Mary's got two runs back in the top of the fourth as Alison Alberts and JoAnna Keilman both scored on a two-out single by Mandi Hettinger. Dickinson added a big run in the bottom half of the same inning after taking advantage of a walked batter for a 5-3 lead. Krystal Harris scored on a triple by Megan Knudsen in the top of the fifth to pull the Belles within a run, but Saint Mary's was unable to capitalize with two runners on base in the top of the seventh as the Red Devils prevailed 5-4.
Megan Knudsen went 2-for-4 against Dickinson with a triple and an RBI. Alison Alberts and Kelsey Keilman each had a hit and scored a run against the Red Devils. Mandi Hettinger had a hit and two RBI, and Krystal Harris had a hit, scored a run, and drove in a run. Zoe Bruni shouldered the loss in the circle after going 2.2 innings and surrendering four runs. Mandi Hettinger closed out the final 3.1 innings in relief.
The Belles were unable to push a run across in the second game despite holding Cornell's high-octane offense to just two runs. Kelsey Keilman led the game off with a double but was stranded after three consecutive outs. The Belles' best chance to score against the Rams came in the bottom of the sixth inning. Keilman had a lead-off single and stole second base. With one out gone, Krystal Harris and Megan Knudsen had back-to-back singles to load the bases with one out. A strike out and a ground out, however, ended the threat and the inning.
In game two, Kelsey Keilman went 3-for-3 with a double and a stolen base. Megan Knudsen added a 2-for-3 effort. Krystal Harris and Sydney Swartz each tallied a hit. Hailey Hisaw threw all seven innings and scattered five hits while allowing just one earned run and striking out two.
The Belles (0-4) return to action on Monday when they square off against No. 15 ranked Central (Iowa) and Bethany Lutheran starting at 9:00 a.m. MST.