BELTON — The score was much different, but the end result was the same.
The Belton Lady Tigers remained perfect in District 12-6A play with an 8-2 win over the Temple Tem-Cats on Tuesday night, a much different contest than Belton’s 21-0 run-rule victory on March 5 in the first meeting between the teams.
This was a battle throughout as the Lady Tigers didn’t score more than one run in an inning until their final at-bat in the sixth.
And that sixth inning quelled the hopes of a Tem-Cat team that had shown at least for five innings they had improved enough to compete with the District 12-6A elite.
“We’ve told the girls over and over they are great and I think they finally got a glimpse of that today,” Temple coach Jessica Harborth said. “They came out and fought, played hard, and that’s all you can ask for.”
Temple (15-10, 7-4 12-6A) got the first run of the game when Bryanna Salas, who singled and advanced to second on a walk, scored on an errant pick off throw.
But Belton (23-5, 12-0), which has already clinched a playoff berth, answered quickly with Madison Ward leading off with a single, advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt and stealing third, and scoring on a wild pitch.
Solo home runs by Belton’s Madison Sniggs and Temple’s Jaylin Kindles had the game tied at 2 after three.
The Lady Tigers took the lead in the fourth. Singles by Maddison Parker and Sniggs followed by a walk by Isabelle Gutierrez loaded the bases for Avery Drake, who drove in Parker on an infield single.
They made it 4-2 in the fifth. Paige Nunes led off with a double, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on a ground out by Parker.
And they broke it open in the sixth with Nunes’s two-run home run highlighting a four-run inning.
Pitcher Hannah Kelley retired the Tem-Cats in order in the seventh, the first inning either team failed to get a base runner, to pick up the win.
Hayli Hesse took the loss for the Tem-Cats.
“It was awesome to see,” Harborth said of the battle. “Our kids came out to fight. They came out with a lot of heart and fought to the best of their ability.”
Both teams play Killeen next, with Temple hosting the Lady Roos on Friday and Belton visiting Killeen on Monday.
TUESDAY'S 12-6A SCORES
- Belton 8, Temple 2
- Ellison 9, Harker Heights 8
- Shoemaker 24, Killeen 0
- Waco 15, Copperas Cove 13