BELTON — The Belton Lady Tigers opened District 8-6A play by batting around in the bottom of the first inning and scoring five runs en route to an 11-0 run-rule victory over Harker Heights on Wednesday night.
After rain caused field conditions to be unfit for play Tuesday, the game was rescheduled for Wednesday, and then moved to Belton when Heights’ field remained unplayable.
“We worked that field because we wanted to play today,” Heights head coach Sarah Cruddas said of her team’s preparation Tuesday after the change in schedule. “Unfortunately, it didn’t go our way.
“Belton is a furious opponent.”
It was a slow start for the Lady Knights as Belton’s Taylor Tubbs struck out two in the top of the first and Ja’lynn Swiney was tagged out at first.
Belton not only got on base in the bottom half of the inning but stole four bases.
Errors, along with two hit by pitches, allowed the Tigers to cycle through the lineup as they took a 5-0 lead.
Valeria Cosme got on base for the Lady Knights in the top of the second, but the bats weren’t waking up as Marissa Stillwell was tagged out at first to end the threat.
Heights’ Kacey McDowell walked Bethany Edwards and hit Caleigh Robinson on the foot with a pitch before Cruddas called in Ashleigh Palma to pitch.
“I want to give all my players a chance to dig themselves out of a hole,” Cruddas said, of placing no blame on her pitchers as there were two fly balls dropped in the outfield in the first inning.
Edwards scored to put the Tigers up 6-0 but Cosme caught three pop flies to center field to end the frame.
In the bottom of the third inning, Belton added another run, but when Mackenzie Bartlett tried to score again for the Tigers, she got caught in a pickle.
Bartlett darted for home but Heights catcher Haley Brown beat her there with the tag.
Belton led 8-0 at the end of the fourth.
The Lady Knights got two runners in scoring position in the top of the fifth with a sacrifice bunt from Stillwell, but Jenny Saylor and Jada Powell just couldn’t connect, leaving the runners stranded and Heights scoreless.
Belton ended the game in the fifth inning with three runs to give the Tigers an 11-0 lead and invoke the 10-run mercy rule.
The Lady Knights are headed to a tournament this weekend where Cruddas hopes to see her team grow their chemistry before facing Midway on Tuesday at Midway.