By Clay Whittington

The Belton Journal

The Lady Tigers must find a way to rediscover the momentum they lost in an instant.

After suffering a 12-2 home loss to rival Lake Belton to open the District 22-5A schedule, Belton rebounded with four consecutive victories by a combined score of 84-6, and it appeared the streak was set to extend at Killeen Shoemaker.

The bottom of the sixth inning, however, altered the Lady Tigers’ trajectory.

After catcher Ramsey Evans-Curran’s RBI single scored teammate Hailey Schutz, giving Belton a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning, the Lady Tigers’ bats went silent, while the Lady Grey Wolves emphatically found their offensive rhythm.

Shoemaker exploded for a dozen runs on 10 hits, including a pair of 2-RBI doubles, in the bottom of the sixth inning to earn a 13-2 victory, and now, Belton must quickly move on.

The Lady Tigers host Killeen Ellison – first-year Lady Tigers head coach Morgan Birkel’s prior team – on Friday at 7 p.m. before opening the second round of district Tuesday at Lake Belton.

The Lady Broncos remain unbeaten with a 6–0 record, while the Lady Grey Wolves (5-1) now have sole possession of second with Belton (15-8, 4-2) following.

Prior to Shoemaker’s comeback, the Lady Tigers were on cruise control.

Belton earned its fourth consecutive district victory Friday against Killeen Chaparral, winning 25-2 as pitcher Lucy-Liu Gaines-Lucas struck out seven batters and allowed just three hits.

Offensively, the Lady Tigers recorded 12 runs in the first inning alone to immediately assume complete control.

Iris Molina and Lole Reyes were each perfect at the plate, while Jacklyn Munoz and Evans-Curran, who had five RBIs, each went 3 for 4.

Then, at Shoemaker, Belton posted the game’s first run on Molina’s sacrifice fly to right field that sent Shutz across home plate in the third inning.

The Lady Grey Wolves responded with an inside-the-park home run to tie the score 1-1 in the bottom half of the inning before Schutz’s second run scored reclaimed the lead.

But it only set that stage for Shoemaker’s outburst.

After the rematch with Lake Belton, the Lady Tigers will host Killeen. Belton won the first encounter 23-1 in four innings.