Lady Tigers impressive run ends
Monday, 04 June 2012 by Chuck Kelly
The Belton Lady Tigers entered the state playoffs as District 12-5A's fourth seed and certainly made their opponents stand up and take notice. Coach Matt Blackburn's ladies knocked out a previously undefeated district champion and followed that up with a win over a good district runnerup team ---but the road led back to an old district nemesis, Bryan, in a best two-out-of-three Class 5A Region II quarterfinal showdown.
The Lady Vikings had won both regular season meetings, 12-0 in February, and 7-6 in March, so Belton knew it wouldn't be easy but the Lady Tigers had exceeded expectations all year....and, yes, it was do-able!
Riding a four-game winning streak, Belton arrived at Baylor's Getterman Stadium last Friday for the opening game of the series.
Junior ace Alex Wilson started in the circle for the Lady Tigers and held Bryan scoreless for three innings. There was a problem though, Belton was also unable to put up a score.
Alyson Bishoff lit up the scoreboard first with a leadoff home run over the right field wall in the bottom of the fourth to bring cheers from Belton fans.
That stirred up a hornet's nest....as the Lady Vikes put together a double, sacrifice, fielder's choice, three singles and a pair of walks for five runs!
Bekah Alcozer smashed a double to right and Kirsten Whiteside followed with a double to left and sacrifice flies by Billi Farr and Shelby Hitt pulled Belton up to a 5-3 deficit.
Meredith Langford relieved Wilson with two outs in the fifth.
Both teams plated three runs each in the sixth inning. Lauren Ramsey and Brittany Bass each singled and Langford drove them home with a two-RBI double to left field. It was 8-6 heading into the seventh.
The Lady Vikings widened their lead in the top of the inning when two batters drew walks and the following teammate slammed a three-run homer out of left field.
Wilson, Ramsey and Bass loaded the bases and with two outs, Whiteside drew a base on balls to move one run in but she was tagged out between first and second. Game one went to Bryan, 11-7.
After a short "breather" , the double-header continued – it was win-or-go home time for Belton.
The Lady Tigers were not ready to end their season and jumped on top at the start. Langford lead off the game with a base on balls and Hitt followed with another walk before, with one out, pitcher Wilson smashed a terrific triple to right field to clear the bases.
Wilson allowed one hit in the inning and Belton led by two.
Neither team scored in the second or third but Belton rang up a pair of runs in the fourth to extend the advantage to 4-0. Ramsey singled over second and Alcozer walked. A double to center field by Whiteside plated Ramsey and Billi Farr cracked a single up the gap to score Alcozer.
Good defense held Bryan in the fourth but in the bottom of the fifth, the Lady Vikes made a mini-run at taking the lead but were stopped just short.
With one away, an error, a single and a home run out of center field scored three runs but --- the scoring was over!
Neither team was able to push a run across in the final two innings as Wilson finished strongly, retiring the final three batters 1-2-3, and Belton evened the series up at a game apiece with the third game to be played later.
In that deciding game Saturday afternoon, the Lady Vikings bombarded Belton with 14 hits, scoring in six of the seven innings to send the Lady Tigers home 11-2.
Belton managed only two scores off seven hits....one run in the first inning and the second in the fifth.
It was a battle but the youthful Lady Tigers represented Belton and the district well and with class.