BELTON — Belton softball coach Matt Blackburn sees any nondistrict game as an experiment.
It does not matter if it is a tournament game or not. It is a chance to find out what lineups work, what his defense will look like and who to put on the rubber.
The latter was solved Saturday, if it hadn’t been already.
Freshman Sidney Holoman pitched a five-inning no-hitter in a 10-0 win over Lampasas in the Lady Tigers’ final game of the CenTex Hit-N-Run tournament at Belton High School.
“I feel like the girls have helped me mature more and being used to the high intensity will help me prepare for college,” Holoman said. “(The no-hitter) was pretty exciting. I was pretty pumped when I saw that no one had any hits.”
Holoman was far from perfect, though. The freshman didn’t surrender a hit, but walked two, hit a batter and also threw a wild pitch.
“That (no-hitter) is the first one of her her high school career,” Blackburn said. “I thought at this point she might have some more already. The hits are always low when Sidney pitches. As long as we can keep her from hitting batters and keeping her walks down she does a pretty good job.
“Mentally, she is still a freshman and she has a lot of growing to do. But, from Game 1 this season to now, she has already grown a lot.”
Kirsten Whiteside got the hitting going for Belton, which had only scored two runs in its previous three games — all losses — in the tournament. The senior singled in the first inning, but got spiked sliding into second base and left the game, replaced by Tiffany Beaver.
Beaver picked up where Whiteside left off, scoring on a double by Meredith Langford and finishing the day 3-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs.
She also drive in the final run in the blowout, scoring Shelby Hitt on a single in the fifth inning.
Alex Wilson, also had a strong day at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs.
“I told them before the game ... it is hard to win one game scoring two runs, much less winning three,” Balckburn said. “After the morning game I made them hit until it was time to warm up. We did not do a good job in our losses of making good adjustments at the plate and on top of that we were kicking the ball around.”
Lampasas (3-10), meanwhile, was out of its element in the tournament, getting outscored 55-4 in five games.
The win lifted Belton to 7-9 on the season — a far cry from where Blackburn thought the team would be going into District 8-5A play. Belton lost to Elgin 12-0 earlier in the day and finished the tournament 2-3.
“We started good and finished good,” Blackburn said. “We learned that you have to hit the ball and you can’t make errors. I don’t know why it has taken us three tournaments to figure that out.
“Hopefully the tide will turn when we hit district and we will start winning.”
Contact Nick Talbot at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7569