By Tony Adams

Belton Journal

AUSTIN – The Belton Tigers Softball team participated at the 2024 Hyde Park Invitational Tournament last weekend.

The Tigers defeated Veritas, Lampasas, and Southwest Christian School on Friday in pool play by a combined score of 44-2.

Belton’s offense cranked out 44 runs and 37 hits in 11 innings.

“Throughout the Hyde Park tournament, we learned a lot about our team, and how our lineups mesh together,” Belton head coach Morgan Birkel said. “This tournament has been a great opportunity for people to show their athleticism in multiple positions as well as get our pitched great work on the mound. This tournament has showed us some flaws that we move forward to work on and strive to perfect.”

Andalyn Logan set the tone early in Belton’s 18-1 over Veritas. Logan went 4-of-4, blasted three homers, and drove home eight runs. Ramsey Evans-Curran went 3-of-4 with two runs batted in, Lucy Liu Gaines added three hits, and Reagan Stuart added two runs batted in.

Gaines picked up the win in the circle, having pitched four innings, allowed an unearned run on two hits, struck out five and walked one.

Evans-Curran blasted a homer and drove in two runs, and Logan drove in three runs as the Tigers outlasted Lampasas, 8-1.

Stuart won her start in the circle, having allowed one run on three hits, struck out four and walked three.

The Tigers scored 11 runs in the first inning of their final pool game against Valor South Austin in an 18-0 shutout.

Iris Molina belted three triples, a double, and knocked in five runs. Logan added three doubles and drove in three runs, Hailey Jane Holder added a homer and three RBI, and Evans-Curran added two hits and two runs batted in. Molina, Holder, Logan, and Hailey Schutz each scored three times.

On Saturday, the Tigers took on Southwest Christian School in the single-elimination quarterfinals.

Belton’s one-run lead evaporated in the third inning, as the Lady Eagles scored nine runs in the final two innings to upend the Tigers, 10-3.

The Tigers took the lead in the bottom of the first as Evans-Curran’s groundout scored Molina.

With the score tied 1-1 in the bottom of the second, Stuart’s smash over the left field wall gave the Belton freshman her first career home run and gave the Tigers a 2-1.

The Lady Eagles exploded for four runs in the third inning to take a three-run lead, 5-2. Southwest tacked on five more in the top of the fourth to increase their advantage to nine runs.

Hailey Schutz’s pop fly single in the bottom of the fourth scored Stuart for the game’s final run. Schutz had two of Belton’s five hits.

The loss ended Belton’s stay in Hyde Park with a 3-1 record.

Logan missed the McGregor Tournament due to illness but was a major factor for the Tigers in the tournament.

“Andalyn has truly shown her growth and ability to adjust to many different pitchers at the plate,” Birkel said. “Defensively, she is extremely strong and versatile to play many different positions. Not only has her athleticism been visible but also her dedication and want to compete. Andalyn’s performance has bloomed over the last few weeks, and I am so excited for what is to come for this season.”

Following Tuesday night’s game against Lake Belton, the Tigers will play in the Central Texas Turf Wars Tournament. On Thursday, the Tigers take on Rains (3 p.m.) and Leander Glenn (5 p.m.) at Glenn’s Grizzlies Field in Leander. On Friday, the Tigers take on Leander (11 a.m.) and Harker Heights (1 p.m.) at Jarrell. On Saturday, Belton play St. Agnes (3 p.m.) and Georgetown (5 p.m.) at Lady Eagles Field in Georgetown.

“I am so excited to see our girls face the challenges that come this week,” Birkel said. “We truly have grown as a program over the last month. I am a believer that playing strong teams develops teams into who they can be and helps them rise to the occasion. This week will help develop our players and our teamwork, as a whole, to become the best team we can going into the rest of our district.”