BELTON Both Belton and Lampasas are going to win plenty of games this season.
They just aren't going to be the stereotypical 1-0 softball wins. They are going to be shootouts.
Saturday at the Cen-Tex Hit-N-Run tournament in Belton was no different as Belton defeated Lampasas 8-6 in a back-and-forth affair. "If you don't hit the ball against good competition and the teams we have seen this weekend, you are not going to win games," said Belton coach Matt Blackburn. "We went 3-3 in our tournament and that is a positive. The competition that was here was top notch."
Lampasas coach Randy Erwin added: "Overall it is probably not as bad as I feel right now, but we are disappointed to tell you the truth," Erwin said, citing a potential team letdown after defeating 3A No. 1 Celina on Friday. "We should be 4-1 right now."
Belton, which along with Lampasas were the only non-ranked teams in the tournament, took charge in the third inning.
Senior Lady Tiger infielders Lauren Ramsey and Kirsten Whitside both singled and then Deja Brown sent a liner through the gap between third and short to score Ramsey. Alyson Bishoff and Skyler Stewart pushed the consecutive hit count to five with singles and plated two more runs as Belton took a 4-0 lead.
"The past two games we were hitting for an hour and half during warm-ups," Ramsey said. "We are just hitting the ball and doing what we can."
Each time the Lady Tigers added a run, though, Lampasas did, too.
Lampasas senior Tealey Farquhar slapped a leadoff single to left field in the bottom half of the third inning and was driven home on a sacrifice fly by senior shortstop Hadley Brown. Hailey Morrison later scored on a single by pitcher Kady Crow.
Then it was Belton's turn as Kaitlyn Dunahoo reached on an error and Ramsey singled to drive her home to push the Lady Tigers' lead to 5-2.
The Lady Badgers responded with a run of their own in the fourth after a Kelsi Gilseth single, and two more in the fifth off a two-run double by third baseman Marissa Maldonado. Hailey Morrison and Brown, who had both singled, came around to score on Maldonado's hit and tied the game at 5-5.
Belton up went up 6-5 in the sixth after Dunahoo and Ramsey both doubled.
"(Crow) pulled it inside and I just took it that way," Ramsey said of her run-scoring double. "She didn't throw me inside like I thought she was going to."
Again Lampasas rallied.
Farquhar smacked a double over Dunahoo's head in center field and scored after ground outs by Cathleen Garzynski and Morrison.
Bishoff and Stewart started off the seventh with singles, but it looked like they would be stranded on second and third after a bunt and a routine groundout to the shortstop.
However, Dunahoo singled and Meredith Langford hit a scorching double to the left-field gap to plate two runs and put Belton up 8-6.
This time, the Lady Badgers couldn't rally.
Victoria Caruthers and Blake Webb both drew two-out walks, but Farquhar's hard liner to center field was caught by Dunahoo this time and saved the win for Belton.
Lampasas lost in much the same way to Elgin, 10-8. After being tied at 4-4 at the end of seven innings, the two teams used an international tiebreaker rules, putting a runner on second to start each inning.
And pitching her 16th inning of the day, Crow ran out of gas, spotting Elgin five runs in the ninth. Lampasas scored three itself in the bottom of the inning, but couldn't complete the comeback.
"We just never could get on top," Erwin said. "We would fight back and then go out and give up a run ... We have to go out and make the plays and shut them down, so we can go to work offensively."