|By Scott Elliott|
Bellush faced just two batters over the minimum, didn’t allow a runner to reach third base and retired 12 of the final 13 batters she faced. She walked three and struck out three while recording the first no-hitter since former Panthers Sydney Mosby and Sarah Oberton combined to no-hit Hilbert on April 14, 2011.
Bellush walked a hitter with two outs in the first but induced a softer liner to shortstop Jenna Fellows for the third out. She issued another free pass in the third, but Betty Fratercangelo threw out Franciscan’s Dennise Carrazco attempting to steal second to end the frame.
Third basemen Lindsey Hull backed up Bellush with a stellar defensive play for the final out in the top of the fifth, narrowly beating the runner on a slow roller down the line. In the sixth, Carrazco walked for the second time and stole second to move into scoring position. Unfazed, Bellush retired the next hitter, a sharp liner to Fellows, to keep the no-hitter intact.
Bellush went 1-2-3 in the seventh, including a groundball to Fellows for the final out, to complete the achievement, and she was instantly mobbed by her celebratory teammates. It is the first seven-inning no-hitter under head coach Tina Phillips, who took over the program in 2003.
Pitt-Bradford scored its only runs in the fifth, using a squeeze bunt to score the eventual game-winning run, and an error moments later pushed across another run.
Franciscan singled on the first pitch of game two and led 2-0 after the top half of the first. Melissa Nye tied the game in the bottom of the frame with a double to leftfield, scoring Samantha Hribal and Grace Dadzaa.
Fratercangelo sinlged to lead off the Panthers’ half of the second, and she scored Dadzaa’s triple to right field. An error on the relay throw allowed Dadzaa to easily score on the same play.
Franciscan trimmed the lead to 4-3 in the fifth, but Pitt-Bradford would score seven runs in the sixth, taking advantage of two errors and tallying five hits. Fratercangelo led off inning with a single, and her RBI double with two outs sealed the run-rule victory.
Fratercangelo and Dadzaa each had three hits apiece, part of a 15-hit Panther attack. Nye drove in three, Cassidy Lewis added a two-run double, and Fellows had a RBI single.
Lewis earned the win in the circle, allowing seven hits and three runs, one earned, in six innings to collect her fifth victory of the season.
Pitt-Bradford improves to 13-20 on the season and 5-7 in the AMCC. The Panthers travel to Hilbert Tuesday for another conference doubleheader at 3 p.m.