The Belton Lady Tigers spent three days in the offseason and two during the season in the weight room to get some more power behind their swing.
That work has resulted in the Lady Tigers flexing their muscles and lighting up the scoreboard through the first five games of the District 8-5A schedule.
“If they hit it hard, it’s going far,” Belton head coach Matt Blackburn said. “It’s not just one kid in the lineup, like you see on most teams. When we hit it, it’s flying.”
Belton takes on Shoemaker today then faces Waco Midway, the team it shares first place with at 5-0 in 8-5A.
Belton’s offense has helped the team make short work of opponents. The Lady Tigers have outscored their first five district opponents by a score of 69-2.
“Our philosophy is if you can put a bat on it, do so,” Blackburn said. “That’s pretty much what we’ve been doing.”
Belton has hit 20 home runs In 21 games and is on pace to break the school record of 28. The Lady Tigers have also hit 50 doubles.
For Blackburn, the most impressive thing about the lineup this season is the fact that everyone can hit.
“In the past I’ve kind of had to hide my power late in the lineup, where this year I have eight different kids that have hit a home run, which is kind of uncustomary,” Blackburn said.
Belton is hitting around .400 as a team, with the No. 1 through 6 hitters accumulating an on-base percentage close to .500 while the No. 7-9 hitters are putting together a .400 OBP.
Belton isn’t all offense, as starting pitcher Sidney Holman has done her part in keeping opponents off the scoreboard.
Holman has allowed only one earned run in district play and Blackburn said she has the ability to throw 65 mph.
“When she’s on, she’s pretty much unhittable,” Blackburn said. “She moves the ball around well. She hits her spots, she gets strikeouts and her walks are down this year. She’s doing her job.”
Blackburn said Belton’s goal is to go undefeated in district and it won’t overlook Shoemaker today before the possible first-place showdown against Midway.
“The kids know that every time we come to the field, we’ve got to take care of business,” Blackburn said. “We approach every game with the same mentality to go out there and try to hit the ball higher and farther than any other team and take care of it on defense.”