By Clay Whittington
The Belton Journal

The Lady Tigers’ season came to a close Monday, when they rallied from a Game 1 loss to even their Class 5A bi-district series, but it was not enough.

Magnolia bounced back, however, to earn a 5-2 victory and close out the series, finishing Belton’s season with an 18-12-2 overall record.

During the back-to-back games, the Lady Bulldogs were limited to one or no runs in all but one inning, but the surge was enough to create the separation needed to complete the series.

After rallying to win Game 2 by a score of 2-1 thanks to Kaylee Jordan’s two-RBI double in the sixth inning, the Lady Tigers immediately took control of the final encounter before allowing a run in the second and third innings.

Then, the Lady Bulldogs claimed all the momentum in the fifth inning as Jade Bubke connected for a two-run home run, and by the end of the inning, Magnolia led 5-1.

With its back against the wall, Belton responded with a run in the seventh inning as Aizlenn Canava scored on an error, but it was not enough to spark a comeback. Each of the Lady Tigers’ next three batters went down in order.

Lole Reyes had a leadoff triple and scored the initial run to start the game for Belton, while teammate Ramsey Evans-Curran had a pair of singles and RBIs in the loss.

Earlier in the day, the squads were involved in a scoreless tie for four innings before the Lady Bulldogs constructed a 1-0 advantage in the top of the fifth inning.

Hailey Schutz had a single in the bottom of the inning, but it did not result in a run. Then, however, after Jordan struck out two batters in relief, the Lady Tigers capitalized.

Reyes and Evans-Curran opened the sixth inning with consecutive singles before Jordan’s shot off the centerfield wall sent both across home, allowing Belton to tie the series after losing the opener 9-5 on Saturday.

Game 1 was originally scheduled for Friday with a doubleheader set for Saturday at Belton, but inclement weather forced the game’s to be rescheduled.

Outside of the Lady Bulldogs’ offensive surge in Game 3, they were limited to eight hits during the pair of games.

Reyes and Jordan alternated pitching duties throughout the pair of games, combining to deliver nine strikeouts.

With the victory, Magnolia advances to face Georgetown in the area-round after the District 23 champion defeated Austin Eastside 12-1 in a one-game series last week.