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Belles Split with Grizzlies

Kelsey Keilman prepares to throw the ball.
FRANKLIN, Ind. - The Saint Mary's softball team took a 6-4 (8 innings) win in game one before falling 3-2 in game two in a doubleheader at Franklin on Tuesday afternoon.
The Belles wasted no time plating a run in the top of the first inning. Kelsey Keilman led off with a single to left field, and Madelynne Keller added an infield single to put a pair aboard. JoAnna Keilman then bounced a single up the middle to plate the elder Keilman from second base. A fielder's choice by Mandi Hettinger put runners on the corners with just one out, but the Belles were unable to inflict any further damage in the inning.
The Grizzlies knotted things up with a home run in the bottom of the second and took the lead with a run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Saint Mary's responded with a run in the top of the fifth. Megan Knudsen singled up the middle and advanced on a wild pitch. A ground out by Krystal Harris allowed Knudsen to move to third, and Kelsey Keilman drove in Knudsen with a ground out to the second baseman to tie the game at 2-2.
Franklin came back with a run in the bottom of the fifth, but Zoe Bruni drew back-to-back fly outs to Sydney Swartz in right field to end the inning. The Belles countered with a run in their next at-bats. JoAnna Keilman led off the inning with a double over the center fielder's head. The sophomore advanced to third on a ground out by Mandi Hettinger, and Sydney Swartz drove in Keilman easily with a sacrifice fly to right field to pull the Belles even with the Grizzlies at 3-3.
Both sides were retired in order in the seventh inning as the international tiebreaker rule was implemented in the top of the eighth inning. As such, Krystal Harris began the inning on second base to begin the Belles' at-bats. Kelsey Keilman put down a good bunt for a potential sacrifice, but the Grizzlies made an error on the play which allowed Harris to score and Keilman to reach base safely. Keller then laced a double to center field to put two in scoring position with no outs. JoAnna Keilman drove both runners in with her second double in as many at-bats to give Saint Mary's a 6-3 lead. Hettinger drew a walk to put two runners on base. Swartz dropped a single into left field, but Keilman was cut down trying to score on the play. A strikeout and a fly out ended the scoring chance for Saint Mary's as the game moved to the bottom of the eighth.
Franklin capitalized on the free base runner with a walk and a two-out single. Another walk loaded the bases for the Grizzlies, but Bruni drew a fly out to center field to end the game.
JoAnna Keilman went 3-for-4 in the opener with two doubles, three RBI, and a run. Kelsey Keilman was 2-for-3 with two runs, a triple, and an RBI. Madelynne Keller posted a 2-for-4 effort with a double and a run. Zoe Bruni picked up the win after going the distance and striking out a pair.
In game two, Saint Mary's took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Natalie Quinlan hit a one-out single to right field, and both Quinlan and Krystal Harris were safe on an error on the next play to put runners on base. Alyssa Gutierrez advanced the pair with a sacrifice bunt. Kelsey Keilman then delivered a two-out single to center field to plate two runs.
Franklin cut the Saint Mary's lead in half in the bottom part of the inning with an unearned run off of a pair of singles and an error. The Grizzlies retired the Saint Mary's side in order in the top of the third and tied the game in the bottom half of the inning with a single, a stolen base, and a pair of ground outs. The home side then took the lead in the bottom of the fifth with a two-out solo home run for the 3-2 lead.
The Belles had a chance to pull even in the top of the sixth inning. Swartz hit a lead-off single up the middle, and Alison Alberts advanced Swartz to second with a sacrifice. An error on Natalie Quinlan's batted ball put two runners on, and a single by Krystal Harris loaded the bases. Alyssa Gutierrez hit a grounder to the shortstop, which saw Swartz get forced out at home for the second out of the inning. A ground out then ended the chance for the Belles. Saint Mary's put the tying run on second with two outs in the seventh, but the Belles were unable to push the run across to keep the game alive in the 3-2 setback.
Kelsey Keilman was 1-for-4 in game two with two RBI for the Belles. Keller, JoAnna Keilman, Sydney Swartz, Alison Alberts, Natalie Quinlan, Krystal Harris, and Alyssa Gutierrez each added a hit. Quinlan and Harris each scored a run. Mandi Hettinger had a no-decision after going the first four innings and allowing just one earned run with two strikeouts an no extra-base hits. Hailey Hisaw suffered the loss in relief after two innings of work with a run and a hit.
The Belles (10-19) return home on Thursday, April 18 to host Hope at 3:00 p.m.