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Belles Set Back Twice as Arizona Trip Concludes

JoAnna Keilman, wearing full catcher gear, catches a pitch.
TUCSON, Ariz. - The Saint Mary's softball team fell 6-4 against Millikin before ending on the short side of a 9-2 final against Gustavus Adolphus to conclude their spring break trip to Arizona.
The Belles took the lead in the bottom of the first against Millikin. Kelsey Keilman led off with a walk, advanced on a ground out, and scored on a two-out error by the Big Blue. Saint Mary's added to the lead in the bottom of the third inning. Megan Knudsen and Alison Alberts reached base on a fielder's choice and a hit-by-pitch, respectively, and an error allowed both runners to score for the 3-0 lead.
The Big Blue rattled off five runs in the top of the fourth inning after sending ten batters to the plate and capitalizing on a pair of Saint Mary's errors while collecting four hits in the frame. The Belles came right back with a run in the bottom half of the inning. Madelynne Keller sent a pinch-hit single to center field and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by JoAnna Keilman before scoring on a two-out triple by Kelsey Keilman to make it 5-4.
Millikin added a big insurance run in the sixth with a two-out ground out before a pick off by JoAnna Keilman to Alyssa Gutierrez at third base ended the inning. Down to their final at-bats, Kelsey Keilman led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and moved to second on a ground out, but a ground out and a strike out ended the game by the 6-4 final margin.
Kelsey Keilman went 3-for-3 against Millkin with an RBI and a run. JoAnna Keilman added a double and a sacrifice while Megan Knudsen and Madelynne Keller each had a hit and scored a run. Zoe Bruni suffered the pitching loss after 3.2 innings of work. Mandi Hettinger closed out the final 3.1 innings in the circle.
The Belles plated a run in the top of the first against Gustavus Adolphus as Kelsey Keilman made the Gusties pay for the lead-off walk as Mandi Hettinger drove in the junior. Gustavus Adolphus, however, responded with a five-run bottom of the first inning for a 5-1 lead. JoAnna Keilman led off the second inning with a triple and scored on a wild pitch to cut the deficit to 5-2. The Gusties plated two runs in the bottom of the second and two more in the bottom of the third for a 9-2 advantage. Despite putting several runners on base against Gustavus Adolphus, the Belles were unable to chip away any further as the Gusties prevailed 9-2.
Against Gustavus Adolphus, JoAnna Keilman went 2-for-3 with a triple and a run. Madelynne Keller was 3-for-4, and Kelsey Keilman was 1-for-3 with a single, a walk, and a run. Hailey Hisaw suffered the loss in the circle after surrendering five runs in 0.2 of an inning. Mandi Hettinger and Molly Keenan each saw time in the circle before Zoe Bruni closed out the final three innings by not allowing a hit and striking out two.
The Belles (1-10) return to action on Wednesday, March 20 when they travel to Franklin for a doubleheader beginning at 3:30 p.m.