By Tony Adams, Sports Editor
The cold and rainy weather of the early 2015 season Belton Lady Tigers gave way to a three games in three nights scenario last Wednesday through Friday. Belton hosted Killeen Shoemaker on Wednesday night and won 15-0 in 3 ½ innings, hosted Copperas Cove and won 6-0 on Thursday night and traveled to Killeen on Friday night, shutting out the Lady Roos 12-0 in six innings on Sidney Holman’s perfect game. The Lady Tigers are in first place with a 3-0 record and are 9-3 overall.
Belton started the first inning against the Lady Grey Wolves with three runs in the first inning, as Kaitlyn Jones doubled, Brittany Bass hit an RBI double, Bekah Alcozer hit an RBI double and Bethany Edwards hit an RBI single.
The Lady Tigers knocked in five runs in the second inning, highlighted the freshman Edwards’ two-run shot over the leftfield wall. Jones and Alcozer also picked up RBI in the inning.
While the offense was giving her more than ample support, Holman cruised along. She retired the first five batters before a single in the second afforded Shoemaker its first runner. Holman walked a pair of runners in the third before a line shot to Bass at third was turned into a double play following a throw down to second. It was the closest the Lady Grey Wolves came to scoring during the game.
Destynie Moore jumpstarted another Belton rally in the third with a walk and a steal. She score on Jones’ second RBI single of the night and Jones scored on Stewart’s RBI double to make the score 10-0.
Following Holman striking out three of the four hitters she faced in the top of the fourth, the Lady Tigers sent up seven batters in the bottom of the fourth. Meredith Lusby doubled and scored during Shelby Hitt’s walk. Madison Winkler singled and Moore walked to load the bases. Jones walked to force in Hitt. Bass hit a two-run double to the right-centerfield gap to make the score 14-0. Alcozer singled in Jones to end the game 15-0, under the 15-run lead after four-inning rule.
Jones went 3-of-3 with four runs scored and Moore went 1-of-1 with three runs. Jones, Bass, Alcozer and Edwards all had three runs batted in apiece.
Holman threw just 62 pitches, facing 15 batters. She struck out eight and walked two, while allowing two hits.
The Lady Dawgs from Cove came in looking to steal a victory from Belton on Thursday, and found the long arms of Holman and the Lady Tigers’ offense.
Belton scored in the second inning when Hitt singled with one out, Jarvis’ bunt single move her to second, Moore’s single loaded the bases and Jones single scored Hitt.
Holman allowed just three runners in the first four innings before her teammates touched up Cove lefty Carly Duran for five runs in the fourth inning. Moore hit a shot to the right-centerfield gap and raced around the diamond for an inside-the-park homer. A pair 2f bunt singles from Jones and Bass, along with a walk to Alcozer packed the bags. Stewart’s fielder’s choice and Edward’s ground out plated two runs and Hitt’s shot to left field brought in two more runs to make the score 6-0.
Holman allowed a single in the fifth inning and a walk in the sixth and seventh innings respectively with two outs. But Holman struck out Ariel Smith to get out of the sixth and got Zoe Frizzell to ground out back to the circle to end the ballgame.
Hitt went 3-of-3 with two RBI, Moore went 2-of-3 with a homer and an RBI and Jones and Stewart each had two hits and an RBI.
The Lady Tigers took the 25-minute trip to Killeen in search of their first road victory of the district season against the Lady Roos.
The game’s first two innings were scoreless, with Belton putting on runners in the first two innings. The Lady Tigers got to Killeen starter McKenzie Kudla in the top of the third inning, as Moore and Jones scored to make the score 2-0.
Holman quietly was setting the Lady Roos down in order over the game, getting slowly mounted leads from her offense.
Belton struck again in the fifth inning, as Moore singled, Jones walked, Bass knocked in Moore with a single and Alcozer hit a three-run home over the centerfield wall to make the score 6-0.
While Holman set the Roos down in order in the sixth inning, Belton sent 10 hitters to the plate in the top of the sixth. Winkler walked, Moore singled, Jones bunt singled, Alcozer singled home Winkler, Stewart sacrificed Moore home, Edwards doubled home Jones and Alcozer, Hitt singled home Edwards and Lusby doubled home Hitt to double their lead to 12-0, putting Holman on stage for the win.
Holman caught Keiria Rudolph looking for a strikeout, Desiree Wheeler grounded out to Edwards at first base and struck out Maribel Carrizales to complete the six-inning, 18-batters faced, 18-batters retired perfect game. The Lady Tigers poured out of the dugout to congratulate Holman and celebrate their third district win in a row.
Alcozer went 2-of-3 with a homer and four RBI to lead the Lady Tigers. Moore had three hits and three runs scored. Jones also scored three runs for Belton.
Holman had 12 strikeouts for the Lady Tigers
Belton will take on Killeen Ellison at 2 p.m. Friday at Lady Tiger Field before heading to Hewitt for a battle with the always-difficult Pantherettes Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Inside the numbers
Here is a quick stats breakdown over the first three games of district:
We have to start with Sidney Holman’s great work in the circle. District 12-6A stats: 17 innings pitched, 60 batters faced, 79 balls, 154 strikes, 233 pitches (averaging just 13.7 pitches per inning), no runs, three hits, struck out 32 (23 swinging, 9 looking), six walks and a hit batter. That’s a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 5.33-to-1.
Here are the offensive leaders through three district games:
Runs scored: Jones (8), Moore (7, out of the ninth spot in the batter order) and Bass and Alcozer (tied with four)
Hits: Jones, Hitt and Moore (each with six) and Bass and Alcozer (tied with five).
Home runs: Alcozer, Edwards and Moore (each with one).
RBI: Alcozer (seven), Edwards (six) and Bass (five).
Doubles: Stewart and Lusby (each with two).
Walks: Jones (four) and Lusby (three).
Stolen bases: Moore (five), Jones (four) and Bass (three).
The team was 9-of-15 with runners in scoring position against Shoemaker, 3-of-12 against Cove and 8-of-13 against Killeen for a total of 20-of-40, a cool .500, while outscoring their opponents 33-0.
In the last 17 district games dating back to the beginning of the District 8-5A season of 2014, Belton has outscored the district 193-19 (11.2 to 1.1 per game). The team is 16-1 in those games, with the 5-4 loss to Temple being the only blemish.
In fact, the team is 28-3 in district games since the beginning of the 2013 season.
In the offensive walks-to-strikeouts ratio in district, the team has 13 walks to just 2 strikeouts. That’s a 6.5-to-1 ratio.