By Tony Adams, Sports Editor
It’s a fair assessment to say that the Belton Lady Tigers Softball team has come together since their two-game slide last Friday at the Bryan-College Station Tournament.
Winning the final games of that tournament, Belton embarked on another tournament journey. This time the journey was to the Round Rock Tournament.
The Lady Tigers won a pair of games on Thursday, downing Leander 8-1 and defeating Round Rock 5-2. They then went on an offensive tear on Friday, winning 11-0 over Rains and 16-2 over Conroe to put themselves in the Round Rock Championship Tournament game on Saturday at 11 a.m. at Lady Dragon Field against Round Rock.
In the tournament opener, Leander grabbed a 1-0 lead on a walk and a single in the first inning. The Lady Tigers put up all eight of their runs in the second inning, as Bethany Edwards had two runs batted in and Avery Drake, Destynie Moore, Kaitlyn Jones, Kendall Mraz, Meredith Lusby and Sydney Andrews all had runs batted in.
Sidney Holman pitched four innings, allowed just a run on one hit, struck out five, walked four and hit a batter in the win.
Madison Ward gave up one hit in relief.
Against Round Rock, the Lady Dragons scratched out a run in the first inning. After stranding a pair of runners in the first inning, Lusby and Robinson reached base, setting up Drake’s two-run single to give Belton a 2-1 lead. Drake had a triple in the top of the fourth to score Lusby to extend the lead to a pair of runs, 3-1.
Round Rock scored a run in the bottom of the fourth to make the score 3-2. Jones walked and Edwards’ two-run homer gave the Lady Tigers insurance runs to take the game by three runs.
Holman went five innings in the win, scattering three hits, striking out 10 and walking one.
Friday against Rains, Belton came out swinging, driving in three runs in the first inning. With two outs in the second inning and Drake on third, Jones singled home Drake, stole two bases and scored on an error. Edwards walked and Holman drove herself and her battery mate in with a two-run homer to put Belton up 7-0.
With two outs in the third inning, Drake reached base on and error and stole second base. Moore drove home Drake and scored herself on an error on the third baseman to make the score 9-0.
A pair of sacrifice flies by Mraz and Robinson scored Edwards and Holman to plate the last two runs of the game.
Holman pitched four innings, gave up just one hit, struck out five and walked three. Madison Cotton pitched an inning, gave up a hit, a walk and struck out two.
The Lady Tigers wrapped up the day with Conroe. From the bottom of the first inning on, it was all Belton. Batting around in the first inning, Belton batted 12 players and scored six times. Edwards two-run double highlighted the inning, as Jones, Mraz, Robinson and Drake picked up single tallies.
In the second inning, Belton batted 10 players and Jones two-run single highlighted the frame, as Robinson and Drake picked ribbies and Holman scored on a wild pitch.
In the fourth inning, Belton plated five more runs, as Ward, Lusby, Sydney Andrews, Taylor Tubbs and Ryleigh Jarvis picked up runs batted in.
Conroe picked up two runs on a hit in the final inning, but the hole was far too deep to climb out of.
Holman went three innings, striking out four, walking one and surrendering a single. Tubbs pitched two innings, allowed two runs on three hits, walked one and struck out two.
Solid pitching, timely hitting earns Belton 3-0 over Round Rock to win 2016 Lady Dragon Invitational
Armed with four wins to clinch the first seed, the Belton Lady Tigers clinches a spot in the finals of the 2016 Round Rock Lady Dragon Invitational Tournament, held at Round Rock High School.
The opponent was a very solid Round Rock team, who played the Lady Tigers hard, but Belton won 5-2.
The Lady Tigers got another huge hit from Kendall Mraz, hitting a bases-clearing double in the third inning and rode the arm of Sidney Holman to a 3-0 win against the Lady Dragons to win the tournament.
Belton outscored the opposition 43-5 in five tournament games. In 11 games this season, Belton has outscored its opposition 70-18.
The first inning started in the most auspicious way, as Avery Drake reached on an error and Destynie Moore singled, but Avery was ruled out of the baseline in a run down between second and third for the first out. Moore stole second base, but was thrown out advancing home on Kaitlyn Jones’ fielder’s choice. Jones went to steal second during Bethany Edwards at-bat and Edwards was ruled out by batter’s interference, although she never moved out of the box and was pulling the bat back following a bunt attempt and it ended the inning. Belton head coach Matt Blackburn questioned the umpire about the call and the umpire drew the ire of the Lady Tiger faithful in attendance. It was a very questionable call, but the Lady Tigers didn’t let it affect their play.
Holman allowed a pair of singles, but a great pickoff play from Edwards to Caleigh Robinson at first base foiled the rally.
In the top of the third inning, Drake and Moore singled and Jones sacrifice bunted them to second and third respectively. Edwards walked to load the bases. One out later, Mraz drilled a pitch in the left centerfield gap, scoring Drake, Moore and Edwards to put the Lady Tigers up 3-0.
Holman was unstoppable from the beginning of the second inning to the beginning of the seventh inning, allowing just one runner on.
Bre Sannem was the last hope for the Lady Dragons in the bottom of the seventh and she tripled into the right centerfield gap. Monika Martinez drove Sannem in on a groundout. Round Rock couldn’t get another two runs across and Belton picked up their first tournament championship in many years.
Holman was outstanding, pitching seven innings, allowing one run on four hits, walking one and striking out nine Lady Dragons.
Moore had two hits and scored a run for the Lady Tigers, who start District 12-6A play hosting the Killeen Shoemaker Lady Grey Wolves at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The game can be heard on KTEM-AM 1400 locally.
“I was obviously impressed with our first four games offensively coming into today,” Blackburn said. “We did some good things. In the first inning today, we had shots. We ran ourselves out of the inning, but I told our kids that I will never fault you on the basepaths for being too aggressive. We got speed and if we’re not using our speed and using our weapons, then it is a waste. We can force teams to throw the ball around. I was really impressed with how they fought.”
Round Rock is a solid team, one that will contend for a championship in District 13-6A.
“They’re a very good team,” Blackburn said. “(Round Rock head coach Jennifer) Painter always has a great team. This team is down a little bit pitching, but she kept us off-balance and we weren’t hitting the ball real square, similar to the other night. One thing that I know is that Painter is going to have hitters. They’re well-coached and it’s one of the reasons that I always request to be on this field. I know that I am going to get two solid games against her. Last year, we split with them. We have never swept them here; always been swept or split. Today’s game is the most focused I have seen them in a game. They had that championship mentality.”
Edwards, Robinson hit homers, Holman deals second no-hitter as Belton routs Shoemaker 17-0 in three-and-a-half innings
The Belton Lady Tigers crushed Shoemaker pitching for 11 runs in the first inning and Sidney Holman pitched her second no-hitter of the season in her 100th appearance in the circle for a 17-0, 3 ½ inning win over the Lady Grey Wolves at Lady Tiger Field.
The win, the first of the District 12-6A season for Belton, moves the Lady Tigers to 10-2 on the season going into the Centex Hit-and-Run Tournament which starts at Lady Tiger Field on Thursday.
Holman struck out the side to start the first inning. The Lady Tigers struck with force and fury, with the first six batters scoring. After Belton went up 2-0 on a suicide squeeze bunt by Kaitlyn Jones, Bethany Edwards drilled a 1-0 pitch far over the left field wall to make the score 4-0.
When the dust settled after 15 batters approached the dish, Belton had put 11 runs across and led 11-0 at the end of the first inning.
Holman hit Madison Satele with the first pitch of the second inning, with Satele being the only Lady Grey Wolf batter to reach in the ball game and was stranded when Holman struck out the final three batters of the inning.
Not scoring in the bottom of the second and Holman striking out the side in the third inning, the Lady Tigers struck again. Avery Drake was hit by a pitch, stole second, advanced to third base and scored on Destynie Moore’s sacrifice fly to make the score 12-0. Jones reached on an error, Edwards walked, Baylee Leifester was hit by a pitch and both Jones and Jarvis scored on wild pitches to move the score to 14-0. Caleigh Robinson hit a 2-1 pitch high over the batters eye in straight-away center field for her first high school home run, scoring Leifester, to make the score 16-0. Drake knocked in Ryleigh Jarvis with a double to make the score 17-0.
Holman retired the first two batters of the fourth inning and Moore retired the final batter, recording a put out as the only non Lady Grey Wolf strikeout of the ball game.
JV Lady Tigers get grand slam from Taylor Tubbs, jet past Shoemaker 18-0
The Belton Lady Tigers junior squad got a grand slam home run from pitcher Taylor Tubbs, as part of a 12-run third inning, to pick up their first District 12-6A win of the season 18-0 in three and a half innings.
The win was the junior varsity’s first of the season.
Following both sides being retired in the first inning and Tubbs setting down the first six hitters she faced on strikes, a two-run single by Tyler Guerra, RBI singles from Morgan Holman and Alexis Maybee and two other runs scored to give Belton a 6-0 lead after two innings.
Belton broke open the game in the third inning, as they sent 17 batters to the plate in the frame. With the bases loaded and the score 10-0, Tubbs hit a 1-1 pitch over the left centerfield wall to clear the bases. The Lady Tigers scored three more runs following the home run.
Tubes struck eight Lady Grey Wolves allowed just one hit. Madison Cotton came on and pitched a scoreless fourth, striking out three and allowing two hitters, to end the ball game.