By Tony Adams, Sports Editor
The first inning for the Belton Lady Tigers Softball team another outpouring of disciplined hitting, running and all around great softball.
Belton sent 16 batters to the plate in the first inning, picking up 12 runs on seven hits, three walks, two safe sacrifices and an error. Nine of the runs scored before the Lady Tigers received their first out.
Small ball was in effect once again last Wednesday night, in similar fashion to the Lady Tigers’ game at Lady Grey Wolves’ Field last season in which the Lady Tigers scored 16 runs in their final inning.
This time, Belton picked up the shutout 17-0 in four innings. The win raised their overall record to 12-4 on the season, 6-1 in District 12-6A play and puts the Belton one-half game behind Midway.
Brittany Bass and Destynie Moore combined for four of Belton’s seven hits in the first inning, with Bass and Bekah Alcozer each picking up two RBIs.
Belton also picked up a run in the second, as Baylee Leifester double and Jones singled scored her.
The Lady Tigers picked up four runs in the fourth inning, Leifester’s two-run triple scored Madison Winkler and Meredith Lusby, Kendall Mraz’ single scored Leifester and Mraz scored on a wild pitch.
Sidney Holman cruised through the Grey Wolves lineup, scattering three walks and had a no-hitter with two outs in the fourth inning before Semariah Blackwell beat out a short, infield dribbler to third for a single. Holman registered 10 strikeouts for the game.
Alcozer, Jones, Hitt all homer, Holman perfect against Cove 13-0
On Thursday, the Belton Lady Tigers’ offense was in high gear again and Sidney Holman is getting plenty of run support to do what she does.
Her perfection in the circle of late is putting the team in a different stratosphere.
Bekah Alcozer, Kaitlyn Jones and Shelby Hitt hit home runs, the Lady Tigers’ offense parlayed five Lady Dawg miscues and Sidney Holman pitched her third perfect game of the season, as Belton beat Copperas Cove 13-0 at Lady Bulldawg Field.
The win lifts Belton to 7-1 in District 12-6A play and 13-4 overall.
Jones got the offense jump started with a single in the top of the first with two outs. She forced an overthrow during Alcozer’s at-bat and scored on Alcozer’s single to short rightfield to make the score 1-0.
The Lady Tigers scored five times in the third inning, as a bunt single by Brittany Bass and fielder’s choice by Destynie Moore resulted on runners on first and second base. Jones deposited a three-run homer over the centerfield fence, scoring Bass, Moore and Jones to take a 4-0 lead, much to the delight of the Lady Tigers’ fans.
Alcozer and Bethany Edwards each walked and an error scored the pair to make the score 6-0.
Baylee Leifester sparked the seven-run fourth inning with a leadoff double. Moore’s one-out single scored Leifester to increase the lead to 7-0. Alcozer hit the first pitch she faced for a two-run, 400-foot homer that went not only over the centerfield fence, it went into the creek that runs approximately 200 feet beyond the centerfield fence, making the score 10-0.
Edwards singled, Meredith Lusby reached on a single, Holman singled to score Edwards to make the score 11-0. Hitt deposited a 1-2 pitch over the right-centerfield fence to increase Belton’s lead to 13-0.
Holman, was again dominant in the circle, throwing just 62 pitches in five innings, while striking out 10.
Angel Mullen, Cove’s talented shortstop, worked the deepest count on Holman. In the first inning, Mullen worked Holman to a full count before being called out on strikes on the eighth pitch of the at-bat. No Cove batter went further than five pitches into an at-bat.
“It was another great game by Sid,” Belton head coach Matt Blackburn said. “It is special watching the success she has had this season and the girls are hitting for her, which gives her even more confidence in the circle.”
In her three perfect games, Holman has received 40 runs of support, while she has set down 45 batters in 15 innings. In district, the Lady Tigers have outscored the opposition 90-5 in eight games. The five runs came against Midway in the team’s 5-1 loss on March 24.
Holman’s string has only scattered a handful of hits in district, surrendering 16 in eight games, half of those to the Lady Panthers in Hewitt. She’s become more efficient in her pitching, developing two additional pitches, which helped to increase her velocity to an eye-popping 68 miles-per-hour.
Belton downs Killeen on Senior Night 11-1
The Killeen Lady Roos became just the second team in District 12-6A to take a lead on the Belton Lady Tigers in district play.
That honor lasted just two outs.
Kaitlyn Jones batted in the first and last runs of the game, the latter in walk-off fashion to give the Lady Tigers an 11-1, five-inning, Senior Night win over Killeen.
The win took the Lady Tigers’ record up to 8-1 in District 12-6A play and 14-4 overall.
Prior to the game, Bekah Alcozer, Brittany Bass, Shelby Hitt and Skylar Stewart were honored before the game for their contributions to the Belton Lady Tigers’ softball program.
The Lady Roos scratched out a run in the first inning to give them a 1-0 lead.
Destynie Moore singled with one out in the first. Jones knocked home Moore to tie the game and Bethany Edwards singled home Jones to give Belton the lead 2-1.
Belton plated four in the third inning, as Jones was hit by a pitch and scored on errant throws by the catcher and third baseman. Alcozer, Edwards and Stewart all singled and scored in the inning to make the score 6-1.
The Lady Tigers scored four more runs in the fourth inning, as Jones knocked in two more runs and Sidney Holman had a suicide squeeze bunt for a run.
Moore had a stand up double in the fifth inning and scored when Matea Jones dove for a dying Jones liner that dropped in front of her to end the game by way of 10-run mercy rule.
Holman had another outstanding outing, allowing an unearned run on one hit, two walks and had nine strikeouts.
Inside the numbers:
The batting averages for the Belton Lady Tigers in District 12-6A are mind-blowing, to say the least. As of Monday, 10 Lady Tigers are hitting above .400. Jones (.667), Holman (.625), Alcozer (.625), Moore (.600), Leifester (.571), Mraz (.500), Bass (.500), Hitt (.476), Skylar Stewart (.438) and Edwards (.409) are the Lady Tigers above .400.
The runners-in-scoring position average is an alarming statistic as well, with the team collectively hitting .528 (47-of-89). Jones is belting an astonishing .900 (9-of-10), Alcozer is hitting .727 (8-of-11), Moore is hitting .625 (5-of-8) and Bass is hitting .583 (7-of-12). That gives the one through four spots in the batting order a combined average of .707 (29-of-41) with runners in scoring position. Not many teams in Texas can beat district numbers like that.
One set of statistics that Belton head coach Matt Blackburn stated he was keeping on eye on at the beginning of season was on-base percentage. Jones leads the way with a .778 OBP. Alcozer (.692), Holman (.667), Moore (.636), Hitt (.577), Leifester (.571), Bass (.538) and Edwards (.500) are all .500 or better, meaning they get on base in half their plate appearances.