In the game of softball, every teaching moment is an impressionable moment.
Those moments were not lost upon the 6U Belton Knockouts at any point during the 2018 season.
They won their Belton Youth Softball Association division, Rogers Tournament and District 4 Tournament to prepare themselves for a state title-run.
Last week’s dominating run at the Texas Teenage Baseball-Softball Association 6U T-ball State Tournament in Emory was the last barrier for the team.
Drawing a 20th seed in the 21-team state field, the Knockouts took on the Lexington Eagles on Monday night (July 9). They bumped the Eagles from winner’s bracket with a 20-12 win.
The victory earned the girls Tuesday night off, as the prepped for two Wednesday evening games.
The Knockouts doubled up Gatesville Muegge 18-9 before getting their tightest challenge of the tournament from the Groesbeck Diamond Divas.
The Knockouts and the Divas seesawed back and forth before the Knockouts won with a walk-off hit, 23-22.
They then took on the Alba Golden Crush in the winner’s bracket finals, 22-13, to earn a spot in the state championship game on Friday night.
Alba defeated the Rogers Diamond Divas to earn the right to play the Knockouts in the championship finals.
The Knockouts completed their championship run with a 19-7 win over the Golden Crush.
They went 24-0 on the year and outscored opponents 102-63 at state tournament.
Kayleigh Jackson received the Championship game ball for her performance in the tournament. She also received the game ball in the District 4 Tournament two weeks ago in Westphalia.
“I couldn’t be more proud of how hard these girls have worked this year,” Knockouts coach Billy Ford said. “We set a goal in the spring to bring home a state title, while also getting these girls ready for the next level and that’s what they did. Seeing the excitement on their faces after finally finishing it made it all worthwhile. People may think they are so young they probably don’t know what it means, but not this group. They earned every trophy and each girl is very proud to have them.”
The members of the 2018 TTAS 6U State Champion Belton Knockouts are: Emma Ruiz, Kayleigh Jackson, Reagan Ford, Addison Lovett, Madison Pack, Kenedi Adams, Hadley Ford, Emma Henry, Colette Burgess, Mia Rayas, Kelci Stephenson, Riley Bartlett, Layla Lopez, Hannah Coffman (pickup from Belton Slammers), Carly Frosch (pickup from Belton Tiny Tornadoes), and Anaya Rose (pickup from Belton Strike Zone).