BELTON — In a slow-moving game and a foot out the door for Spring Break, the Belton Lady Tigers were looking for an offensive spark.
Skylar Stewart came to the rescue. Stewart yanked an 0-2 pitch far beyond the left-field wall for a solo homer in the third inning, knocked in another run in the fourth and scored three runs to help the Lady Tigers to a 9-0 victory Friday night over Copperas Cove.
“The second pitch I didn’t think was a strike,” said the sophomore right fielder. “I was just looking for a pitch on a tee. It came in high and outside. I really didn’t expect that.”
Meanwhile, Sidney Holman scattered four hits in the seven-inning shutout that keeps Belton (11-9, 4-0) at the top of the District 8-5A standings alongside Waco Midway. The freshman struck out 11 and walked two.
Stewart’s solo shot was the only run of the third to give the Lady Tigers a 3-0 lead. The bats started coming around in the fourth off Carlee Duran, who moved to the circle for Cove
(11-11, 2-2), from second base after Stewart’s homer. Belton banged out four hits and scored four runs in the fourth for a 7-0 advantage.
Tiffany Beaver led off with a single and went to second on a wild pitch. Alyson Bishoff followed with an RBI bouncer through the middle. Alex Wilson drew a one-out walk and Stewart delivered again with a single to score Bishoff. Wilson scored from third on a Shelby Hitt groundout and Stewart scored on a sharp single to left by Meredith Langford.
Belton added two more in the fifth to come up one-run shy of ending the game early on the 10-run mercy rule.
Beaver followed Kirsten Whiteside’s one-out base hit by poking a triple to left-center. The lefty-lefty matchup against Duran fit Beaver’s hitting eye better than Hartwell.
“I got off to a rough start,” Beaver said. “I told myself I was going to get through it. The new pitcher was better for me.”
Beaver scored the Lady Tigers’ final run on a Bishoff groundout. The Lady Tigers picked up a pair of runs in the second. Stewart led off with a walk and later scored from second on an errant throw to get the Lady Tigers on the board. A bases-loaded walk to Bishoff brought home Langford for the 2-0 lead.
“I would have liked for us to have scored more runs,” said Belton coach Matt Blackburn, whose team takes on Killeen and Shoemaker next week. “We’ll take some time off, set some goals and do some hitting. We’ve got to take care of business one game at a time. We can’t get ahead of ourselves.”