By Tony Adams
It was a tough move for the Belton Youth Softball Association to move out from under the umbrella of the Texas Teenage Baseball-Softball Association to Independent Fastpitch Association-Virtual Tournament Director (IFA-VTD). It was a move that caught many by surprise.
Tom Munoz started a team in Temple and played with the Central Texas Youth Softball Association to continue to play under the TTAB-TTAS affiliate. It was an adjustment that may have changed moving from one city to another.
But it is still softball.
The Ducks qualified for the playoffs in 2016 with a core of their 2015 8U state-qualifying team that played in BYSA.
They played their District 9 playoff opener Tuesday afternoon at the Rogers Baseball Fields. And they made their presence felt early and often.
The Ducks hit four home runs in the first inning and hit three more in the second, all of the inside-the-ballpark variety, hitting the seven-run-per-inning limit in the first two innings of their 20-1, four-inning run rule win over the Lampasas Diamond Dolls.
The Ducks struck first in the top of the first inning with Jacklyn Munoz clobbering a two-run homer to the fence. The shot was followed by back-to-back clouts from Allyson Schauer and Ryley Litchfield to make the score 4-0. Blair Costine followed up with a homer and Brianna Tutor’s solo shot maxed out the score at 7-0, sending the Ducks into the field.
Good plays by Munoz in the circle and Litchfield and Costine at the corners, the Ducks retired the Diamond Dolls in order to get the neon-green and black clad team quacking in the second.
It didn’t take long for the Ducks to cross the dish again in the second inning. Madeline Rakowitz hit a two-run double and scored on Munoz’ second homer of the game. Schauer followed Munoz with her second homer of the game. Two batters later, Kali Mayberry’s two-run homer ran the Ducks into the seven-run maximum and they took a 14-0 lead back into the field.
Allison Fry got the Diamond Divas on the board from a series of Ducks’ rare miscues in the field on one play. The errors were the only ones of the game for the Ducks, as they held a 14-1 lead going into the top of the third inning.
Rakowitz’ two-run triple extended the Ducks’ lead to 15 runs. Munoz’ double plated Rakowitz, Schauer’s double scored Munoz, Litchfield singled in Schauer and scored on an error to make the score 20-1.
The Diamond Dolls didn’t score in the third or the fourth inning and the Ducks did not score in their half of the fourth. They secured the victory and moved on to the next round, proving to many that they will be a force in this year’s playoffs. It was a successful adjustment, with the team Belton-rooted to the core. They are representing the CTYSA with pride and are taking on all opponents.
In a late Tuesday night game, the Ducks beat the Lampasas Sweet Heat to move on in the winner’s bracket of the District 9 playoffs.