By Tony Adams, Sports Editor
During a winning streak, teams find different ways to keep a streak alive.
For the Class 6A No. 3 Belton Lady Tigers on Friday night at Lady Tiger Field, speed on the base paths was the key.
On a night where the wind was steadily blowing around 15 miles-per-hour, the Lady Tigers used a truck load of speed, 13 stolen bases and kept the ball down for most part in their 10-0, five-inning no-hit triumph over the Killeen Ellison Lady Eagles.
Belton moved their school-record winning streak to 22 games. They are now 24-2 overall, 10-0 in District 12-6A play with two games remaining in the district schedule, have outscored their opposition 140-0 in district and have shut opponents out in the last 10 games.
Sidney Holman struck out the first three batters she faced to get the Lady Tigers up to bat quickly in the first inning. Avery Drake singled off Ellison starter Melissa Cass, stole second, swiped third and scored on a throwing error to put Belton up 1-0. Destynie Moore walked, stole second and third. Kaitlyn Jones walked and stole second base, setting up Bethany Edwards two-run double to deep right-centerfield to give Belton a 3-0 advantage. Edwards scored when Ellison third baseman Taren Frescatore made a great backhander on Kendall Mraz’s screaming liner down the third-base line, but threw wide of the bag at first. The play put Belton up 4-0 after the first inning.
Holman retired the Lady Eagles in order by way of strikeouts in the second inning. Drake led off the second inning with a single and then stole second and third. Moore singled home Drake and stole second and third herself. Jones singled in Moore and stole second base. Edwards walked and Holman singled in Jones. Mraz was hit by a pitch and Madison Ward knocked home Edwards to make the score 8-0.
In the top of the third inning, Holman induced a Cydney Crathers grounder to Meredith Lusby at deep shortstop. Lusby went into the hole at between shortstop and third base and fired a cannon shot to Caleigh Robinson at first to get Crathers by a half-step. Holman struck out Cass and had Ginette Gomez at a 1-1 count went she dropped bunt down the first base line. Holman fielded and it threw it to first base. However, the throw hit Gomez in the leg and was called safe. Gomez was ruled to have been “fully” in the base-running lane, although her left cleat was outside of the lane. It was a controversial ending to Holman’s amazing streak of three perfect games and 57 consecutive batters retired, covering 19 innings. She bounced back and struck out Madison Livers to end the inning.
Jones doubled with one out in the third inning and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Holman singled home Edwards and advanced to second an error to give the Lady Tigers a 9-0 lead.
With one out in the top of the fifth inning, Ellison catcher Anna Hontz walked for Holman’s first pass allowed in five games. Holman fanned Crathers and Cass to retire the side.
Drake singled to start the fifth inning and promptly stole second and third. Moore hit a short fly ball to right field that was caught and Drake scored to give the Lady Tigers the run-rule win 10-0.
Edwards continued her torrid streak, going 1-of-2 with a walk and two RBI. Drake was 3-of-3 with six stolen bases, Moore was 1-of-1 with a walk, a sacrifice fly, four stolen bases and two RBI. Jones was 2-of-2 with a walk, two stolen bases and an RBI. The quartet scored all 10 runs.
Holman had an RBI single to go with her 13 strikeouts in the circle. She picked up her fourth straight no-hitter and sixth in district play this season. She crossed the 250-strikeout plateau and is at 260 strikeouts versus 27 walks and 46 hits. In district play, she is 10-0 with a 0.00 ERA, with 124 strikeouts, seven walks and eight hits allowed.
Belton’s rematch with Class 6A No. 7 Waco Midway in Hewitt at Pantherette Field scheduled for Tuesday was cancelled due to poor playing conditions. The game will take place Thursday night at 7 p.m. (No JV game). The game is a rematch of last month’s 7-0 Lady Tigers win in Belton.