BELTON — Throughout the first half of the District 8-5A softball schedule, the Belton Lady Tigers have been looking forward to a tight game that went the full seven innings.
They’re still looking.
The long expected and anticipated showdown of league unbeatens still goes down as another five-inning rout as Belton used a three-run homer from Skylar Stewart, a three-run triple from Bekah Alcozer and two-hit pitching from Sidney Holman to put away WacoMidway 12-2 Friday night at Lady Tiger Field.
Belton (15-9, 7-0) swept the first half of district play and handed the defending 8-5A champion Pantherettes (16-6, 6-1) their first district loss in two years.
“The team we had tonight is a team I haven’t seen all season,” Belton coach Matt Blackburn said. “It’s what we needed to see. It’s what we needed to do.”
The Lady Tigers strung together 10 hits, especially in key moments, and got a lift with a six-run third inning that took the Pantherettes out of it. All 12 runs were driven in by the heart of the Lady Tigers’ order — Alcozer, Alyson Bishoff and Stewart — and were set up by everyone else.
It was a night in which Belton didn’t allow an opponent with equal credentials to slow down its momentum.
“We were all ready to play this game,” said Alcozer, a junior Texas commit. “We stayed up this entire game. When we woke up, that’s all we thought about.”
Alcozer drove a pitch from Midway reliever Morgan Ling to the right-field wall for a bases-clearing triple in the third inning to bring in the first three runs with two outs.
“I haven’t been as consistent as I was when I was a freshman and sophomore,” Alcozer said. “I’ve put too much pressure on myself. I just decided to relax and have fun and do what I can for the team.”
Alcozer’s shot brought in Tiffany Beaver, Kaitlyn Jones and Brittany Bass. Bishoff followed with a walk that led to Stewart’s monster shot well beyond the left-field wall, her seventh of the year.
“We just all had our adrenalin going. We were so pumped for this game,” Stewart said. “I just saw a pitch I liked, up high, and did what I could with it.”
Midway got on top in the first with an RBI double from Ainsley Skopic.
Belton doubled that in the bottom half. Bishoff drilled an off-speed offering from starter Chandlar Coskrey to bring in Makayla Hernandez and Alcozer.
The Pantherettes manufactured a run to tie it in the second, but it was all Belton from then on.
The Lady Tigers picked up four in the second to lead 6-2. Bishoff and Alcozer drew bases-loaded walks to score Jones and Meredith Lusby, before Stewart mashed a two-run single through the middle to drive in Bass and Alcozer.
Jones, the sophomore designated-player, went 3-for-3 and has strung seven straight hits together.
Holman (14-8) was efficient with one strikeout and three walks, and catcher Shelby Hitt gunned down two Pantherette base runners.
Belton has outscored its district foes 98-5.
“We’re scoring runs,” Blackburn said.
“I’ve never had a team hit the ball like this.”